Friday, February 14, 2014

Fairytale Friday: Valentine's Reprise

{London Kiss: ink & watercolour illustration by Shell-Sherree}

How could I let today slide past without a little something to celebrate Valentine's Day.  {I know it's commercialised, but in the spirit of love, I embrace tolerate accept its flaws along with its good bits.}  In spite of my good illustrative intentions, though, I lost track of time daydreaming. {No need to feign shock ~ you know me too well.}  So I hope you don't mind me dusting off a little something appropriately romantic from the archives.  Here's to love and good old-fashioned pashing, smooching and snogging.  And on that note ...

Happy Valentine's Friday to you! 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Francophile Fancies: Snowed Under in Paris

{ink & watercolour illustration © Shell-Sherree}

When Tiffany & Co. took its gorgeous horse-drawn carriage to the streets of Paris, I have a feeling the smelling salts had to be passed around.  If Shakespeare had been there to seen it, he would have written Much Ado About Something.  It's so beautiful, it's worthy of its own supersized snow dome.  And I'd want matching ones for all of us. 

Merry Christmas to you.  May your days and night be merry and bright and resplendent with love, peace and happiness. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Francophile Friday: Peter's Paris Whimsy

{Peter's Paris Whimsy: ink & watercolour illustration © Shell-Sherree}

When you've been blogging as long as I have, your dear bestie friends get to know what tickles your fancy.  After Peter of Peter's Paris posted his gorgeous photo of restaurant Au Vieux Paris d'Arcole several months ago, I received a {not-so} gentle nudge and "Pssst, Shell ~ take a look at this!"  When I approached Peter to ask if I may take inspiration from his photo for an illustration, he most kindly acquiesced with the utmost generosity and chivalry.  {Merci, dear Peter ~ I hope you love it as much as I love your inspiration!!}  

Observe if you will how many chairs we have to fill ~ we're long overdue for a catch-up!  Here's a little something whimsically appropriate to wear {a very little something, actually ~ some might like a petticoat ~ and look what colour it happens to be... so predictable, I am}.  As they probably don't serve violet macarons, here's a doggie kitty bag for you to take home.   And on that note ...

Happy Francophile Friday to you!

PS: Please do click on the image to embiggen.  I tried loading the large size but désolée, it's too large for the page format. Sniff...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Happy Francophile Frunday: If the Eiffel Tower Fits ...


{Quatorze Juillet Kitty: ink & watercolour illustration © Shell-Sherree}

You didn't really think I'd let the 14th July slip past without a little something, did you?  Here's un petit peu ~ a divertissement of sorts, albeit a weensy one.  So, how have you been?  Do tell!  Insert my personal whine here about it being winter, an overabundance of grey skies, and a distinct scarcity of cheery blue-basked sunlight I enjoy for drawing and watercolouring {rightly or wrongly ~ that's the way I like it!}  But enough about that ~ let's wear something appropriate for daytime celebrations with a quick-change when dusk falls.  Oh, and here are some non-colour-coded Parisian treats {do we really want to eat blue macarons?  Not that I'm judging...}  And on that note ...

Happy Quatorze Juillet / Fête Nationale / Bastille Day to you!

PS: Francophile Frunday = Francophile Friday on a Sunday.  Sorry I've been so absent from the blog lately!  Please pop over and Like my Facebook page to keep in touch between posts.  Merci, grazie, thank you...

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Francophile Friday: Feel the Pain and Eat It Anyway

{Paris Pain de Campagne: ink & watercolour illustration © Shell-Sherree}

Today we play Guess the Location.  The prize is the warm glow of helping your fellow Chez Shell partygoers, so everyone play along and we won't let such minor details as accuracy get in the way of a good story {a philosophy embraced by many news outlets on the planet}.  That said, I'm fairly confident someone really will know which boulangerie/pâtisserie we're pressing our noses against.  {Wait ~ wrong window.  How did that get in here...}  Let's carry a casual dress code into the weekend as we indulge both sweet and savoury tooths with today's selection.  Which would you choose?  I'm on the fence.  And on that note...

Happy Francophile Friday to you!

Inspiration with thanks here.   
Update:  Location is (Stéphane) Secco, 20 rue Jean-Nicot, 75007 {thanks to our learned readers!}

Friday, May 10, 2013

Francophile Friday: Here, Cartier Kitty

{Ode to L'Odyssée de Cartier: ink & watercolour illustration by Shell-Sherree}

That which we call a panther by any other name shall look as sweet.  While it's no secret I love cats, it's a long time since a Big Kitty has made an appearance here.  Card-carrying Cartier connoisseurs are already giving each other discreet bejewelled high-fives at recognising the inspiration behind today's illustration before I've had a chance to say Panthère.  Or Leopard.  Or Pantherus pardus.  {All one and the same, as it turns out.}  As we're a crazy bunch of dreamers here Chez Shell, I'm pretty confident you'll love being swept along on our beautiful Cartier leopard's bewitching odyssey in this exquisite {I use this word freely in exchange for insanely-expensive-but-worth-it} short film.  {Check out the back story here.}   Three leopards were involved in filming and ~ wait for it ~ guess what their names were?  Cali, Tiga and Damou.  {For those new here, from cali is one of my dear friends and longstanding comments-party animals.  I'm jealous.  Fancy sharing a name with a leopard...} I feel we need an invisibility cloak of sorts to wear for the ride, so let's don our camouflage gear.  Hang onto your hats.  And on that note ...

Happy Francophile Friday to you!
PS:   Bonus cute Cartier kitties here.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Francophile Friday: Paris Daily Photo Reprised

{Tenin Perspective - Paris Daily Photo: ink & watercolour illustration by Shell-Sherree}

My life took a new turn when I happily stumbled upon Paris Daily Photo while following a croissant-crumb trail of links back in 2008.  I'm guessing it started with typing Paris into Google ~ no need to bring bring Inspector Maigret out of retirement.

I fell a bit in love with Eric Tenin and his gaggle of loyal followers.  This was my first encounter with BlogLand ~ and wow.  The wit, the repartee, the camaraderie!  The Paris eye candy, from the gilty gloriousness to the everyday!  I was captivated.  After lurking shyly for a crazy length of time, I still remember squeezing up the nerve to leave my first comment, and the warm glow of being welcomed {by Coltrane_lives first, if my memory serves correctly}.  Eric and Paris Daily Photo sparked the start of my own blog and many dear friendships both on and off our various respective blogs, seeded in a common love for Paris and discovering a whole bunch of other kinships {not the least being kitties}. 

Each year, Eric holds a Paris Daily Photo Picnic {aka the PDP Picnic, pronounced PDP Pique-nique by those in the know}, and way back I whipped up a little illustration for the 2009 edition.  What do you know, tomorrow heralds this year's picnic so I've gone back to the archives and bent my 'no repeats' illo philosophy as I thought it would be fun to revisit.  Eric has updated his site design a couple of times since I did this, so it can go into the archives for posterity's sake {and posterior's sake}.  I won't be there and each year it comes around, I kick myself up the proverbial for not getting my proverbial to Paris yet.  I hang my head, Yoda, as I do my best to follow your wisdom: Do or do not.  There is no try.  

But if you are going along, here's something you can slip into.  Plenty of layers in case of uncertain weather.  Let us pray for baby blue skies ~ either way, the picnic will be lit by the sunshine of your smiles.  And on that note...

Happy Francophile Friday PDP Picnic Edition to you...

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Francophile Friday: Of Absinthe and Affogato

{Absinthe Kitty: ink & watercolour illustration © Shell-Sherree}

Affogato!  Sounds perilously close to cussing in Italian {or blessing someone if they sneeze}, but today's illustration is brought to you in the wee hours of Saturday morning thanks to this simple dessert of vanilla ice-cream puddled in shots of espresso.  Make mine a double.  Wait ~ I already did.  If not for that, I'd have given into the temptation of sleeping.  And if I had absinthe in the bar cart {aka the top shelf of my pantry, which sadly looks nothing like this}, said slumber would possibly have taken place out on the roof or up in a tree ~ neither of which lends itself to late-night illustration attempts.  As I have none, catastrophe averted.

I must issue a warning with today's post, however.  Kitties: do not attempt this fanciful feline's adventures at home.  An unadulterated cat is fascination enough without adding absinthe into the equation.  But dear Virginia Jones's photo of Vert Absinthe in le Marais inspired me to follow the green fairy from our last post to this one, and look where we've ended up: illustrating an illustration.  Now, there's an absinthian concept if ever I saw one.  {Thanks as always, ma chère.} We should don something appropriate before entering, in case the custodians are recruiting this weekend.  And on that note ...

Happy Francophile Friday to you!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Francophile Friday: Merci, Too

{Merci, Too: ink & watercolour illustration © Shell-Sherree}

I sit here at my studio desk and look to my right at my fading leopard-print letter rack and inspiration board hanging above it, and count almost a dozen handwritten quotes that have settled there since the new year alone.  Most along the lines of love, gratitude and faith.

So when I came across another cheery photo of Paris store Merci while seeking inspiration for today's illustration, I took the hint.  Any excuse to give thanks. If this looks familiar and you're making a note to decline the offer of a second glass of absinthe with dinner, relax ~ la fée verte is not at work {nor is the green fairy}.  This is indeed the second time I've illustrated Merci ~ which I think makes it a first.  I mean, the first time I've illustrated a place for the second time {excepting the Eiffel Tower, but she is in a category all her own}.  I mean... not to worry.  {Pass the absinthe...}  In the spirit of keeping things fresh, the cheeky little Fiat Cinquecento has pinker cheeks this time around and our kitty mascot is bringing you pawfuls of flowers to say, "I hope you know you are beautiful beyond measure."  {You can check out Virginia Jones's lovely Merci photos over here.  Look, more eye candy!}  And on that note...

Happy Francophile Friday to you!

Update Friday 19th April:  I'm so sorry, I'll be taking a blog breather here and there for the next little while.  Turns out today is such a day.  I'll stay in touch and notify of my next post on my Facebook page.  Until next time, take care and bisous to you...

Friday, April 5, 2013

Francophile Friday: French Doors Give Us Paws

{French Doors Give Us Paws: ink & watercolour illustration by Shell-Sherree}

I'd lay money a secret society of frazzled home handymen in Paris {should I say 'handypersons' nowadays?  Where's my fainting couch, it's all so hard...} spread a rumour once upon a time that peeling paint merely adds a certain je ne sais quoi better left to its own crumbling devices in order to propagate a certain rakish charm ~ say, the architectural equivalent of a three-day growth.  {Hard to argue with that.}  The inspiration for today's illustration also makes a good case.  And with decorative railings like these, the walls could resemble filo pastry and all would be forgiven.  {Not to mention the excellent pawholds these beauties provide.}  But I vote we wander inside and check out the view from there.  Who knows, there might even be a ballroom!  I feel a wardrobe change in the air.  And on that note...

Happy Francophile Friday to you!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Francophile Friday: Happy in Paris

{Happy in Paris: ink & watercolour illustration by Shell-Sherree}

Be happy.  Such a simple prescription for life {if a tad hard to observe at times ~ when snivelling into a soft cotton hankie, for instance}.  But if one happened upon this fleuriste in Paris, waving its awning and flowers at you and shouting its good cheer, happiness would surely be irresistible.  {You can wander over and see a different view on a different day courtesy of dear Virginia of Paris Through My Lens.}  Our scruffy pooch looks like he's been rescued from a desert island then dragged through a perfectly manicured hedge backwards, but it matters not when there are roses to smell and kitties to play with.  Wherever you are and whatever you're doing this Easter weekend, may you be safe, peaceful and happy.  And on that note...

Happy Francophile Friday to you!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fashionable Furry Friends Friday: The Gloves Are On

{Darling, We're Home: ink & watercolour illustration by Shell-Sherree}

Have turquoise set of wheels, Scotty dog and mascot kitty, will travel.  The fur kids had to be separated a couple of times and if I heard "Are we there yet?" whined one more time... but it looks like all's well that ends well.

I overdid the waist nipping again, so one could be forgiven for thinking we should have packed a lot more sandwiches for the road trip.  {Either that or kitty ate more than her duly allotted share.  She's a growing girl ~ what can I say.}  But the bunch of flowers is a promising sign that we're about to be romanced with a simple but heartfelt home-cooked meal {two ways to a girl's heart within one sentence...}, so we can make up for lost time over the weekend and loosen that belt by the time Sunday rolls around.  I smell welcome home Gin and Tonics in the air.  And on that note...

Happy Fashionable Furry Friends Friday to you!

PS:  Inspiration for today's illustration is here ...  And when one Etsy store closes {mine!}, another one opens: regulars here well know and love Virginia Jones of Paris Through My Lens {source of much of my inspiration, with my eternal gratitude!}  To acquire gorgeous Paris photo prints for your home, please visit her new print store.  'Tis truly lovely.

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