Saturday, May 30, 2009

"Crumbs. Did anyone deliver the cakes?"


Marie Antoinette might not have been the first to utter those immortal-yet-possibly-fallaciously-attributed-words, “Let them eat cake.” It seems there is a trifling issue with the timeline. In the 1760s, when political philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau quoted “a great princess” as saying it, Marie Antoinette was still young enough to be making mud pies and playing with toy tea sets ... and at least a year or two away from marrying.

Oh, fiddle-dee-dee. It sounds far more appropriate coming from her than some lesser known Duchess elsewhere in Europe. And it adds to scenes like these in Sofia Coppola’s movie.

I thought it was a very generous thing to say when I first heard it, having interpreted it as, “Peasants: the cake’s on me.” It could actually have been a PR exercise that went horribly wrong in the execution process. Is it a coincidence that it's so easy to lose one's head in the pâtisseries of Paris? I think not...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

One Day in Paris with Van Cleef & Arpels

Paris is not just the city of lights and romance, but fragrance and jewellery as well. I guess that makes sense, given all of these pleasures are so finely woven together. They go hand in hand, somewhat like the young girl and boy who take a journey through Paris and life during the little movie on Van Cleef & Arpel's site. If you love Paris, you'll adore taking a walk through her streets in this sweet clip to promote their UNE JOURNÉE À PARIS range.

The clip ends with a scene that's symbolic of this pendant.

Called Romance à Paris, it's made of white gold, lapis, turquoise, mother-of-pearl and diamonds. I love diamonds but being fair-skinned, I've always felt stones with colour suit me better. This has a little of both. So are diamonds always a girl's best friend? Perhaps it really depends on who the giver happens to be ...

Friday, May 22, 2009

BYO CopaKabana and Cheese

I admit ... it's a long time since I went to a party. Especially one like this, where hypothetically speaking, one who never sings in public could drink sufficient red wine to cheerfully tackle Copacabana to the unforgivingly sparse accompaniment of a karaoke machine that was quite useless in my humble opinion, having lost or temporarily misplaced all backing instruments aside from a lonely pair of maracas. Then to top off the indignity, one nearly falls over the top of the verandah railing and into the hibiscus bushes at the very moment fellow partygoers are wondering just Who shot who ....

But enough about my fictitious ghosts of parties past. Do you have any festive figments of your imagination you'd like to pretend to remember or forget? Or perhaps a sub-standard karaoke machine you'd like to have words with? One moment while I find a faded feather for my hair.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just the Ticket for In-Flight Entertainment

One of my girlfriends is off to visit Paris shortly... that's Paris, France, not Paris, Hilton. A piece of leather carry-on luggage in antiqued chocolate leather with a purple rose pattern could be just the thing she needs to ensure her travel is comfortable. That and a tall, dark, handsome man to wear matching loafers and spritz her with Evian as part of her in-flight entertainment.

Bon Voyage, ma petite! Don't come home until you're ready...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Does Corsetry Tighten Loose Aromatic Morals?


I chatted briefly yesterday with delightful MmeBenaut about fragrance, and whether to stay with a signature perfume or be a bit loose with one's aromatic morals and dabble with a variety. It takes a lot of scentual fortitude to remain faithful to just one.

As challenging as it is, I stick with three, partly because it takes me so long to use them up that my wee dram of Scots won't allow more than that. This Jean Paul Gaultier Classique {with notes of rose, star anise, ginger, vanilla and orange blossom} is my 'summer night/winter day' signature scent. Well, not this one exactly. The bottle with the fancy corsetry is reserved for the Eau de Parfum, whereas I have the Eau de Toilette, which can't afford such elaborate underwear but still looks nice naked.

So how about you? Do you prefer corsetry or going naked? Wait ... what? Sorry, I meant to ask ... Are you a one fragrance woman? Or are the choices impossible for you to resist?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

For Eric and Paris Daily Photo


Most of my regulars know dear Eric Tenin and his world famous blog, Paris Daily Photo. PDP blends smoothly with my morning latte to form a dangerously potent addiction, but I'm quietly confident it's a healthy one. It's certainly a happy one.

The PDP picnic has become an annual tradition and this year's was held overnight at an Irish pub in Paris. Long story. {What else would you expect in an Irish pub.} A night of great merriment was had by all, if the photos are any indication. You can see for yourself here and here.

One of Eric's regulars, Phx, arranged some surprises for the man of the hour... hours ... many hours. So I did this little illustration for Eric, to show what Paris Daily Photo means to me. Phx has kindly insisted that I put it up here. How can I resist that beaming smile! So here's Eric, readying himself to take a photo from his trademark Tenin perspective, his crowd of adoring followers impatiently awaiting his next post. Bisous!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lock Up Your Melons


BY SHELL SHERREE

Hold onto your fruit and veges and assorted household accoutrements. The racy and endearing English women who posed in the altogether ten years ago for a calendar to raise money for cancer research are at it again. And I'd like to say, "You go, girls!"

In the first calendar, these ladies, aged from late 50s to mid 70s, were shown whilst performing various 'homemaker' duties like gardening, knitting and baking, and putting a whole new spin on 'muffin tops'. Their private parts were cleverly obscured thanks to common items around the home, like flowers, wool, a couple of Queen Elizabeth II souvenir spoons and a small garden gnome. {Or something like that. If you're after accuracy, you'd better go to Wikipedia.}

I have to wonder, though, if the concept gives to community health with one hand and takes away with the other. Here is one comment, for instance, that I read with regards to the Associated Press article about these British Calendar Girls:

"I found the Calendar under my grandpa's mattress. Not bad; July has nice cupcakes." {submitted by edinamnguy at the Star Tribune's site}

Assuming grandpa also enjoyed July's cupcakes, did anyone stop to examine the statistics of increased blood pressure and heart conditions in grandpas when the calendar was released? A cataractstrophy of eye strain? A sudden spike in hernias from repeated mattress lifting?

I hope the Calendar Girls were sensitive to that when producing their 2010 calendar, and upsized to larger 'modesty' props accordingly. I know if I was doing it, I'd want some prize winning pumpkins from the local county fair and a small herd of Icelandic sheep, at the very least.

If they failed to take this into consideration, a bunch of British grandpas might need to put out its own health fundraising calendar, and I hear it's been a very bad season for zucchini. Especially the undersized ones.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Simplify

I have several Feng Shui books. I have woken up many times with them mooshed into my face. And some of them are hard covers. That said, I have read and enjoyed them all, but I've not yet had the patience to get out a compass and really dive into the nitty gritties.

That said, I don't have to know which dosha my karma's in {err - I think I switched to Ayurveda but stay with me here} to know that it's time for me to streamline and simplify. Having one blog instead of two is one of the ways I'm choosing to do that.

So I've moved copies of my illustration posts here from my other blog. That's why there are now pretty pictures dotted in amongst my longer ruminations. If you'd like to check them all out, click the Illustrations label on the right.

I hope this makes my blog all the more fun for you to visit and saves you chasing me from one blog to the other, if you even knew I had another. Which I now don't.

My Qi's feeling better already!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Do Cherubs Pontificate?

I was glad to be able to draw a statue that didn't require me to add a fig leaf. This cherub lives on the Pont Alexandre III , a bridge that's commonly thought of as the fanciest bridge in Paris and that's surely saying something. This exuberant display of opulence includes gilding, winged horses, Art Nouveau lamp posts and sculptures of nymphs and cherubs ... like this little fellow. Balancing precariously all these years has done wonders for his six pack.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Miss Mild Manners Apologises to KH of Hollywood

Dear, dear, dear. The next time Miss Mild Manners takes a lengthy European rail vacation, she will make sure her errant younger sister, Miss Wild Manners, has no way of rifling through her affairs and finding her account logins.

While happily travelling abroad, Miss Mild Manners happened upon a newspaper article claiming that Tom Cruise is rather upset with his wife, Katie Holmes {dear sweet thing}, for taking up smoking again. Truthfully, Miss Mild Manners was shocked to the very core to imagine that winsome, charming young lady risking her good looks and health by succumbing to that most scurrilous of habits. Not that Miss Mild Manners did not once flirt with the devil's weed in a brief experimental phase during her adolescent years, but near discovery in the Young Ladies' Rooms at the local Lacrosse courts during one's youth had visions of Miss Mild Manners' carefully groomed reputation and perpetual position as Teacher's Pet flashing before her terrified eyes and indeed, was the epiphany that caused Miss Mild Manners to turn resolutely onto the path of all that is well-behaved and becoming in a lady.

But we digress.

Upon her recent arrival home and tending to affairs, Miss Mild Manners was mortified to discover that certain correspondence intended for herself had been intercepted in her absence and responded to by naughty Miss Wild Manners. Read on and you will begin to understand the horrifying nature of this transgression. Miss Mild Manners sends her abject apologies to the recipient of this ill-conceived advice {while secretly hoping it works}.


Dear Miss Mild Manners

Please help me. My husband seemed like the catch of the century when I first met him but more and more each day, I'm feeling like he's on the last train to Kooksville and I don't want to meet him at the station. I'm tired of being told what to do. My friend from Cali suggested I contact you. Would you have any advice as to how I can get my life back?

Yours in hope and desperation ~ KH


Dear KH

This is your lucky day! Boring old Mild Manners is dressed in her best gloves and stockings on some moth-eaten Magical Mystery Tour overseas but you really need my help, not her prissy preachings, so it's all good.

The best way out from under Tom's Thumb is to make him want to leave you. This disfunctional way of dealing with relationships has provided many an unhappy spouse with the perfect way to bail out while retaining a huge chunk of community property; all this with the blessings of the spouse who mistakenly thinks he or she has instigated the break up, thanks to overwhelming guilt for being the breaker-upper instead of the breaker-uppee.

The answer to your question is simple.

Start pretending to smoke. He'll think it's a filthy, disgusting habit. You will become tainted and impure in his eyes and no amount of Scientology Sparkles will remove his nicotine-stained judgment of you. Whatever you do, don't really smoke. You don't want to replace one unhealthy addiction with another. Just light up any time you expect him to enter the room, then act as guilty as hell and watch his attraction to you decrease in direct proportion to your perceived cigarette-fumed transgressions. Do not under any circumstances give in. If you should start to weaken, if you should start to falter in your resolve, remember the immortal words of Winston Churchill:

We shall fight on the Longbeaches...

We shall fight in the Chesterfields and in the Bond Streets;

We shall fight in the Dunhills;

We shall never surrender ...


Go get 'em, Tiger!
Miss Wild Manners