First Birthday Giveaway: the Panda or the Féery?


Funny how it happens like that ~ it occurred to me last night to take a look-see and figure out when my blog started and it's my one year blogoversary today!  Happy blogoversary to me ... happy blogoversary to me ...  happy BLOG-oversa... but wait.  How selfish!  This is all about you, my lovely readers, after all.  And it's also about my dear friend Trish, whose birthday coincidentally happens to be today.  Happy birthday, gorgeous kid.  We go back 30 years {cough} and whenever we catch up {never often enough} it feels like we're still ... whatever age we were back then.  

So, cupcakes for everybody!   And as birthdays are oft celebrated with perfume and jewellery, I'm having a birthday giveaway of the winner's choice of one of these two original Shell Sherree illustrations {regulars here may remember them}:

Panda Watch illustration, image size 3x5.5" [7x13.5cm] on 190gsm watercolour paper 

To enter, just leave a comment here on this post telling me which one you'd choose, before 9am this Friday 2nd October Brisbane time {you can convert to your time here} .  If you're a regular commenter, you'll receive an extra entry in the draw, and if you also say which of my currently listed Etsy drawings is your favourite, you'll receive an extra entry.  The winner will be chosen randomly and announced in Friday's post.

And now, on with the cupcakes.  They are healthy enough for a heart foundation tick, I promise!!

ps: A little 'thank you for your support' launch special for my lovely blog readers:  If you order one of my originals at my Etsy store by Friday 9th Oct and mention 'Brazen Hussy' in the order notes, I'll give you 15% off via a refund back to your credit card.  And if you're a regular commenter, I'll add in a couple of Shell Sherree gift cards with my compliments, as an extra Thank You!  Any questions/suggestions/requests, don't hesitate to email me.  Ta!

Francophile Friday: Rue de Paris de Brisbane


Bonjour!  For today's Francophile Friday, let's go for a walk along Park Road, Milton, here in Brisbane, where there's a miniature Eiffel Tower that is quite sacrilegious for purists, but I'm glad it's there nonetheless.  It's fun to say to a friend, "Let's meet under the Eiffel Tower."  Of course, it would be a whole different level of fun to say to a friend, "Let's meet under the Eiffel Tower," and be talking of the real one.  But in lieu of that ~ we shall make do.  Just a brief stroll from our meeting place, we'll find Rue de Paris, a coffee shop with an art deco style interior and fine espresso that endeavours to further help us with our delusions of grandeur.  Some whisper amongst themselves that this establishment somewhat approaches the Parisian experience with its pricing as well as its charming surrounds, but we won't speak of such indelicate things here. 

Happy Francophile Friday to you!

ps: A little 'thank you for your support' launch special for my lovely blog readers:  If you order one of my originals at my Etsy store by Friday 9th Oct and mention 'Brazen Hussy' in the order notes, I'll give you 15% off via a refund back to your credit card.  And if you're a regular commenter, I'll add in a couple of Shell Sherree gift cards with my compliments, as an extra Thank You!  Any questions/suggestions/requests, don't hesitate to email me.  Ta!

Catch the Metro to the Store


Why isn't our rail system called the Metro?  And why don't we have gorgeous signage for our stations like this one in Paris?   Is it really that much to ask???

While I haven't caught a train lately, I have finally put together my new Etsy storeSorry for the brazen hussy approach to letting you know.  Not as brazen hussy as this approach would have been...

Anyway, that's enough of the flagrant self-promotion for now ~ how about we have a celebratory glass of bubbly and talk about metros and brazen hussies ~ not necessarily in that order...


Friday Fleurish: Campari Bloomers


Friday afternoon cocktails.

Take one bottle of CampariSoda.

Take a moment or two to reflect on the word 'Paris' hidden within the name of this iconic Italian aperitivo. What does it mean? Is Dan Brown going to write a book about it?

Enjoy drinking what is "considered the first pre-mixed drink in the world ... in its signature bottle that was designed in the '30s by Fortunato Depero..."

Then wash out the charming conical bottle {while pondering what life would be like for one named Fortunato}. Add water and tuck one single pink overblown ranunculus into it. Place on a windowsill or a little stack of books. Look at it often, all weekend. Smile at what looks like an upturned pair of frilly tennis bloomers. They don't make them like they used to.

See. It really is a Happy Friday Fleurish to you!

Ahoy, Me Hearties, Ahoy Me Hearties...


To give you fair warning so you can prepare yourself in time, this little fellow's here to remind you about International Talk Like a Pirate Day, invented by Cap'n Slappy and Ol' Chumbucket and hitting the poop deck on 19th September every year.

Yes, you'll find all the hard-hitting news stories here.

What started as a bit of a lark spread like wildfire ~ who doesn't enjoy talking like a pirate, I ask you ~ and if this harmless bit of fun also helps some charities to find cures for scurvy bilge rats, I say, "Yo-ho-ho. Arrrrrrrrgh."

To quote Wikipedia {as I am so fond of doing}, "Lionel Barrymore is the first believed to have used the "arrrgh" in the first film of Treasure Island from 1934 in an iconic version of Billy Bones. In fact, many believe Barrymore created the first archetype of pirate speak." But wait. Further down the same page I found this: "The archetypal pirate grunt "Arrr!" (alternatively "Rrrr!" or "Yarrr!") first appeared in the classic 1950 Disney film Treasure Island..." Who's been drinking a bottle of rum then...

PS: For the animal lovers who may be fretting, never fear. Rainbow-Lorikeet Pete's hooked tootsies are all intact and he's safely nuzzling nectar from our trees with his hundred closest hearties. Arrrgh.

Francophile Friday Fleurish: Pencilled In


I was sitting down to paint something for you when I became sidetracked by an email from iconic French saddle shop-turned-fashion house, Hermès. First, the illustration in the email gave me a chuckle. Then I realised it was a while since I'd soaked up the whimsical drawings on their website, so with the aid of a magical cyberspace carpet ride {in the guise of a link in their email}, off I flew and fell in love with Alice Charbin's work all over again. I wanted to show it to you in case you hadn't seen it yet. Alice is the children's book illustrator who created those charming drawings ~ absolutely my cup of tea. What a dream job that would have been. From the little I could find out about her, she lives in Paris with her hubby and several children {and most probably at least one puppy and kitty}. But of course.

Anyway, her work reminded me that way back when, I worked a lot in pencil and watercolour rather than ink and watercolour. And it reminded me of how the pencil imparts a softness that I love and will use more often. I did a little pencil and watercolour doodle and decided what the heck, I'd show it to you, since my other drawing was no further advanced. {That's a teensy koala in the teacup - one of my favourite animals and way too vulnerable. You can find out more about these Australian treasures here.} I added some flowers for the sake of the Fleurish. So ~ happy Friday Fleurish/Francophile Friday to you!

Lady Bug Me


It's been too long since I've seen a ladybird {aka ladybug depending on your geography}. Long overdue. I love the cheerful, freckled beauty and helpfulness of a real one but if I found this version on my doorstep, I couldn't bring it inside out of the weather fast enough!

Lanvin's "LadyBug" enamel choker won't rid your plants of pests but some things simply exist to be beautiful {and symbolic of a whole lotta love}. This is one such spectacular example. The velvet band is laden with crystals and has a bespoke edginess courtesy of transparent black gauze peeping from behind the velvet. I was hoping their website would have some pretty animation to show it off but no, so my illustration will have to bring it to life for you. I hope a sweet ladybird of one kind or another visits you soon.

PS: Dear Finie has passed on this lovely award to me.

Thank you, Finie, and congratulations on receiving it yourself for your gentle and dreamy blog.


Venerdi in Venice: A Watched Pigeon Never Falls


I've finally exhausted my archives of unframed Venice drawings painted way back in the afterglow of my trip. {Way back.} Sorry this post is a little late, but I became lost for a while when I started flipping through my photo album looking for inspiration for today's offering. Many of my Venice photos have gelati coloured buildings but this one was muted stone with charismatically worn shutters whose paint was flaking. I looked on the reverse of the photo and had indeed written myself a clue about this one. You can see where my head goes. No mention of something useful like the street location. More like, "Ooh, a kitty!"

And I seemed rather callous about the pigeons at the time but I'm sure I was only kidding ~ unless this pic was taken straight after my mildly Hitchcockian experience in Piazza San Marco... in which case, I most certainly was not kidding. Here, kitty, kitty... Happy Venerdi in Venice!

Brunch or Bust


Hubby and I usually head out for brunch on Saturdays. {Let's just pretend today's Saturday, not Tuesday, or even Monday. Isn't it Saturday somewhere on the planet?} And as hubby prefers to ease gently into a Saturday {and even more gently into a Sunday}, we often miss the breakfast menus. But brekkie at The Gunshop Café in West End provides incentive to greet the morning a bit earlier than usual for hubby, as happened last Saturday.

The place has a breakfast reputation worthy of the small wait for a table, as no reservations are taken for weekend breakfasts. Hubby loved his fluffy Canadian brioche french toast with bacon, drizzlings of pure maple syrup, sprinklings of pecans, and caramelised banana. Though the strawberry brioche french toast was trying to seduce me away from my stable blood sugar levels, I stoically chose the plump potato fetta hash cakes with wilted spinach, house-dried tomatoes and herbed sour cream. Delicious ~ though I had to stifle a whimper when I saw the strawberry brioche french toast at the next table.

The café occupies a charming old heritage building and yes, was a gun shop in its earlier life. The decor is warm and a bit funky - and it doesn't feel like these sculptured dames are watching your every mouthful at all. {They can't even watch their own waistlines.}
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