Francophile Friday : Merci, Mercy


Merci Paris illustration  © Shell-Sherree
Merci Paris illustration  © Shell-Sherree

 Take your pick this week as to Francophile Friday or Flashback Friday. This illustration of the gorgeous Merci store in Paris goes back quite a ways!  So far back, it pre-dates my signature inclusion of a kitty mascot.  I wondered why it felt like something was missing.

I love that the French word for 'thank you' is similar to the English word 'mercy'.  So in a manner most unlike me, I did some research. {Don't be alarmed... it will pass.} 

According to ye olde Online Etymology Dictionary, 'Mercy' is derived from Old French mercit, merci "reward, gift, kindness, grace, pity," which came in turn from the Latin mercedem "reward, wages, pay hire".  Que? 

Thankfully ~ mercifully ~ when we head even further back to 6th century Church Latin, mercedem meant "applied to the heavenly reward of those who show kindness to the helpless."  Ahh.  And we're kind of back where we started.  I knew research was a waste of time.  And on that note ...

Happy Francophile Friday to you!

PS:  You'll find Merci in the 3rd arrondissement:  111 boulevard Beaumarchais 95003.
No comments

Fashion and Fluffballs Friday : Kitty Marchesa


Kitty Cat illustration Fashion Faux Pas No.23 © Shell-Sherree
Kitty Cat illustration Fashion Faux Pas No.23 © Shell-Sherree

Short and sweet, I'll let today's illustration do the talking.

Well, aside from saying that unlike kitty, I've never worn a Marchesa gown backwards.  But if I actually possessed a Marchesa gown, who's to say.  And on that note ...

Happy Fluffballs Friday to you!

PS:  You'll find a new series of original artworks of cats and dogs here in my store.  I call them Petal Pies.  Drawn with brush, inks and watercolour and sprinkles of gold, minimal and sweet, these make gorgeous gifts for your favourite animal lovers.  Please go check them out.  Cute as !  

Furry Friends Friday : Under the Tuscan Sun


Pink Fiat and Kitty Cat Pup Fluffballs illustration © Shell-Sherree
Pink Fiat and Kitty Cat Pup Fluffballs illustration © Shell-Sherree

Today's pink Fiat and fluffballs illustration tootles us off under the Tuscan sun.

Or it could easily be poot-pootling us off under the Provençal sun.  Take your pick of tootling or poot-pootling and we're all happy, even without a bottle of raffia clad-Chianti or rosé.

Speaking of wine, the sauvignon blanc of C'est La Vie french wine ~ the one with my illustration planted on it ~ is still available here in Australia through Dan Murphy's.  Please drink responsibly and if you're so inclined while you're at it, go pick up a bottle. It's as cheekily delightful as the label implies.  As a bonus, you get a tiny Shell Sherree illustration to keep if you're the bottle-keeping kind!  Sweet.  And on that note ...

Happy Fluffballs Friday to you!

C'est La Vie french wine label illustration by Shell-Sherree
C'est La Vie french wine label illustration by Shell-Sherree


Fluffy Francophile Friday : Jack the PomPom in Paris


Custom pet illustration Audrey and Jack the Pomeranian in Paris © Shell-Sherree
Custom pet illustration Audrey and Jack the Pomeranian in Paris © Shell-Sherree

It's a curious and wonderful thing, having clients who become friends all over the world without ever meeting them!

Today our interview series with Instapawrents heads to Paris, home of @jackthepompom and his mum Audrey. Individually, they are rays of sunshine. Together? Hold onto your sunglasses!

@jackthepompom and mum Audrey

Jack is a very cute name and unexpected for a French puppy dog.  How did you choose his name?

Jack’s full name is in fact 'Jackpot' ! First I wanted to call him 'Jack-Pote' which sounds like 'Jackpot' but means 'Jack-buddy' in french. But I thought it was not visually beautiful as a name so I chose Jackpot. I have to say, I almost never use his full name, as 'Jack' is shorter, and also very cute!  And he had a dark pattern around his mouth when he was a puppy that reminded me of the Joker in Batman, and the real name of the Joker is 'Jack' and played by Jack Nicholson:  two more reasons to call him this daily.

Until recently, Jack had a beautiful little brother, Gizmo, who is surely having amazing adventures in guinea pig heaven just as you imagine.  I'm very sad for your loss.  It looks like they loved each other very much.

Jack and Gizmo were so cute together ! As a puppy, Jack was very impressed by Gizmo. Then, he began trying to play with him and lick his face all the time. So cute ! I think Gizmo was worried at first, but he loved having some Jack kisses, and he was sometimes hiding in Jack's fur when they were outside.  As Gizmo began to go blind, he certainly felt protected by Jack. We miss him a lot !

@jackthepompom and Gizmo

It's so tough when they are gone.  Onto happier things before we cry ... 

When we chatted about your illustration brief, you were keen on you and Jack cuddling on the sofa, or taking a stroll at your favourite lake in Paris.  You didn’t have to choose in the end ~ thanks to the magic of illustration, you did both! What are your favourite things to do at the lake?

We love to meet other dogs and dogs owners.  We also learn a ton of tricks and try them at the lake ! Jack loves running and being crazy during our walks ... it’s a real 'freedom time' for him !

There are plenty of ducks and swans there … has Jack ever gone for a swim to try and chase after them? 

Ah ! Yes he did ! Once, when he was a puppy. He tried to chase a duck which was on the lake, and he fell in ! I totally panicked and grabbed him by the harness and hauled him out of the lake.  He wasn't traumatized at all, but I was ! Now, he hates water I think...

Paris is known for being dog-friendly.  Amongst the places you go to regularly, which storekeepers are Jack’s favourites, and do any of them try to slip him treats? 

Mmh, I don’t thing Paris is dog-friendly to be honest, it’s more the contrary … everything is forbidden for dogs. But we have a lot of shops like Moustaches and My Cutie Dog, which just changed and doesn’t sell dogs' stuff now.  It's so sad because it was my favorite shop. We have a ton of tiny shops for dogs, but they are very expensive, so I prefer to order by internet. He doesn’t seem to be disappointed, as I love to take his stuff out of the box when we receive orders for him !

Jack’s coat is spectacular !  How long do you spend grooming him each day, and do you tend to buy clothes that match him so you don’t have to constantly de-fluff yourself?

I spend maybe one hour per week on his coat, which is not a lot of time. The Spitz coat is easy to brush so that’s really cool ! {Spitz is a group of northern dog breeds including Pomeranians, Chow Chows and Samoyeds.}  During the spring and autumn it takes a little more time, though, and they lose a ton of hair ! Really impressive !

I have to say, I stopped thinking about beautiful black wool coats and I try to buy ones that match his fluff colour. 

If I could send my magic carpet to whisk you and Jack anywhere in the world for a day, where would you go and why?

Mmmh ...  we would choose a peaceful place by the ocean or the sea, with no-one but dogs and dogs owners for company.  Do you know any place like this ?  

Hmm, being a cat mum, I'm not well versed in all the great puppy places !  But my magic carpet is pretty smart ~  or if one of our readers knows such a spot, they can let us know in the comments!  You love reading and watching films.  What’s Jack’s favourite bedtime story and cuddle toy?

He just likes hearing me talk about my day, and asking him about his as if he could answer me ! He has a ton of toys he likes to play with, like the amazing kid's toy hedgehog that you perfectly drew !

Thank you !  I love Jack's hedgehog.  I'm envious of his entire toy collection, including his gold star cushion !  If Jack was to star in a movie, which actor would you pick to do his voiceover work?

Good question … I’d like a funny voice like Eddie Murphy’s ! Would be so funny ! I think he has that voice in his head.

Can you describe Jack’s personality in three words?

Crazy,  gourmand, of course (which means he really loves food) ~ and maybe you can find an english word for me that means he loves to learn stuff all the time !

How about 'inquisitive'?  Or if we want to sound brainy, we could call him a philomath: one who enjoys learning new facts and acquiring new knowledge. Jack the Pom Pom Philomath.  Heh!

Thanks so very much for sharing your adventures with us, Audrey.  Merci beaucoup.  One day I hope to stroll around the lake with you and Jack.  That would be a highlight in Paris for me!

You can follow Jack and Audrey's heartwarming escapades at @jackthepompom.  And you can go behind the scenes with more interviews here.  And on that note ...

Happy Fluffy Francophile Friday to you!

Custom pet illustration Audrey and Jack the Pomeranian in Paris © Shell-Sherree
Custom pet illustration Audrey and Jack the Pomeranian in Paris © Shell-Sherree


Fashion and Fluffballs : Yoga Distraction No.39


Kitty cat and fashion illustration Yoga for Tutu © Shell-Sherree
{ Kitty cat and fashion illustration Yoga for Tutu © Shell-Sherree }

When you've been doing yoga for a decade times two, you can increase the degree of difficulty by piling on the distractions.  Today's fashion and fluffballs illustration demonstrates one such method.

Why don yoga wear when you can up the ante with a fluffy tutu and a fetching feline within patting reach ~ provided one has abs of steel and is prepared for paw to hand combat, that is.

So come, let us retrieve our tutus from crannies inconvenient and hope that while those claws may be sharp, our reflexes be sharper.  Then again, a little acupuncture never hurt anybody.  And on that note ...

Happy Fashion and Fluffballs Friday to you !


Francophile Friday : Arc de Trio de Triomphe


Pretty Paris illustration Arc de Trio de Triomph © Shell-Sherree
{ Pretty Paris illustration Arc de Trio de Triomphe © Shell-Sherree }

Hello, is that Saturday on the horizon?  Let's pull up an elegant upholstered chaise in the middle of one of the busiest avenues in Paris.  We can inspect our gloves while waiting for the weekend to arrive.

As this is the magical world of illustration where red tape is invisible and no traffic-stopping permits are required for us to cool our heels, our nonchalant diversion is pas de problème and the cobblestones under our high heels cause pas de faux pas.  I've never had to draw a turned ankle or blister in my life.  Imagination truly is a wonderful thing. And on that note ...

Happy Francophile Friday to you!


Fluffy Friday : Merengue the Meringue


Fashion and Fluffballs illustration: Fluffy Confection in Pink with Kitty  © Shell-Sherree
{ Fashion and Fluffballs illustration: Fluffy Confection in Pink with Kitty  © Shell-Sherree}

You dance the merengue, I'll draw the meringue.  Maybe someday we can marry the two!

When I was little ~ littler ~ I gave my dear Nanna extra brownie points for her magic stash of mini meringues.  And when my magnificent mum was created {with an extra sprinkling of 24 carat gold dust}, the Mixmaster beaters didn't fall far from the tree!  Lucky me. 

Munching crisp, sweet morsels of love made visible and seeking illustration inspiration, I happened upon a fluffy confection one might call a meringue in the fashion sense.  Height to dress ratio aside, wearing this could well coax me into dancing the merengue.  If Hugh was asking?  The chances magnify exponentially.

So come, let us nibble on the sugary juxtaposition of delicate crunch with fluffy pockets of air and exhale crumbs of small talk.  They might tell us nothing and take us nowhere, but I'll bet they are a whole mess of fun.  And on that note ...

Happy Fluffy Friday to you!

illustration Fluffy Confection in Pink with Kitty  © Shell-Sherree
{ Fluffy Confection in Pink with Kitty, ink & watercolour illustration  © Shell-Sherree }

© Shell Sherree • Theme by Maira G.