Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Beware of Greeks Wearing Shifts


ink & watercolour illustration, 8" x 5.5" [20 x 14cm]

Blue skies have "feel good" vibes stitched invisibly into their linings.  I love sunny days, but our current wet weather has quickly greened my garden into an oasis {minus the camels ~ more's the pity}, so I'm happy for this rain.  But it really brings down the aesthetic I was going for with my washing.  There's no way I can pull off this look at the moment.  Not even if I had the whitewashed villa with cobalt shutters to go with it.

After I showed Alexa Awash in Venice a couple of months ago, PopCultureNerd kindly emailed me some beautiful photos from her holiday in Mykonos, Greece.  It seems that all washing scrubs up nicely when strung up in front of a villa {somewhat like dressing men in tuxes}.  Thank you for the lovely photo inspiration, PopCultureNerd ~ not only are you a source of wit and wisdom on all things pop culture, but you take a beautiful photo {in all ways}!

Please, join me if you can, no matter what the amount, by clicking on the ChipIn button over in the little widget on the top right to help raise $50,000 by mid January to help provide warm beds, love and care for the 16,000 abandoned or neglected animals expected at the RSPCA Victoria's animal shelters over the Christmas period.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who's already donated!  Here's more info...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Venerdi in Francophile Fleurish: Merry Christmas


What to do?  It's Christmas Day here, and the best laid plans of mice and men {ie., preparing my post ahead and scheduling it to magically appear now} went AWOL when my mice decided on the night before Christmas that they'd go to sleep on the job, lest they scare Santa away.  So here I am on Christmas morning, drawing.  And for me, that's one of the most perfect ways to start any day, so I guess I'll forgive my mice, as it turned out for the best! 

Christmas Day coincides with Friday, calling for Venerdi in Venice, Francophile Friday or Friday Fleurish.  So here they are, all rolled into one.  Finally, Hugh Jackman is taking us on that long-promised gondola ride as my Christmas gift to you, but we seem to have been magnetically drawn towards that fair lady we love so much.  Heck, it's our fantasy and we can go wherever we want to!

I can't begin to express how much your friendship and our fun times together mean to me.  Thank you so very much for dropping in to visit, and bringing merriment all year around, not just at Christmas time.  My wish for all of you is continued peace, love and laughter, now and always.  And on that note ...

Happy Venerdi in Venice~Francophile Friday~Fleurish to all, and to all, a good night!  

Please, join me if you can, no matter what the amount, by clicking on the ChipIn button over in the little widget on the top right to help raise $50,000 by mid January to help provide warm beds, love and care for the 16,000 abandoned or neglected animals expected at the RSPCA Victoria's animal shelters over the Christmas period.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who's already donated!  Here's more info...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Music Boxer to my Ears



Christmas is nearly here and if I woke up to one of these under my eensy weensy tree, first I'd be surprised that it fit under my eensy weensy tree ~ then, I'd be a very happy girl!

Peter Alexander is an Australian designer who started making pyjamas on his mum's dining room table a long time ago and it all took off from there.  And yes, they are the best PJs and nighties I've ever worn.  When I saw this in one of his Christmas catalogues, I had to show you.  It's a functional music box which doubles as a gift box for a pair of knickers and matching camisole.  Adorable!  {And they ship to a number of overseas countries with very reasonable postage.}

I've been keeping this aside especially for the right moment, and given that Peter Alexander is a pooch lover {his puppy dogs always feature somewhere in his ranges} and avid supporter of the RSPCA, for whom we're raising funds here through until mid January {see the ChipIn gadget over on the top right} ~ well, now seems the right moment!  I'd even take an empty one of these.  How about you?  I wonder if they have any left over...


Please, join me if you can, no matter what the amount, by clicking on the ChipIn button over in the little widget on the top right to help raise $50,000 by mid January to help provide warm beds, love and care for the 16,000 abandoned or neglected animals expected at the RSPCA Victoria's animal shelters over the Christmas period.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who's already donated!  Here's more info...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Francophile Friday: Scooter Tour d'Eiffel & Giveaway Winners


It's been a while since I took my imaginary pink vintage Scooter for a whirl around Paris.  A lovely young lady with her very own pink scooter {and it's a real one!} happened to spy her recently, and I'm delighted that the original now resides in her home.  She was looking for something to pair up with it, so I took myself on a scooter-flight of fancy and couldn't help pulling over at the sight of the Eiffel Tower.  {And yes, prints are available.  Thanks so much to dear Virginia, who may recognise the background scene from a photo she sent me! V, I have something else in mind for the actual subject of your photo...} 

Now, enough of the suspense.  I know you're speed reading, wondering if you've won my current giveaway.  I'll get on with it, then.  My usual barrel girl, Ella, was having a cat nap and I couldn't possibly wake her.  She didn't need to hang a Do Not Disturb sign.  I understand these things.  So, I randomly pulled playing cards from my old Darling vintage pack, 55 beautiful {girlie!} paintings by Heinz Villiger, and put a sticky note with commenter's name on each card {a lot of fun in itself}, then shuffled well and drew three.  In order of drawing {in both respects}, from left to right, here you are:


Congratulations to you all!!!  Hiker, please email me your postal address and choice of print, and I'll contact Amy and 'C of Favourite Vintage Finds' {the lucky last commenter, which goes to show it's only over when the Lady with Largesse Sings} in order to figure out the rest.

And now ~ Happy Francophile Friday to you!

Please, join me if you can, no matter what the amount, by clicking on the ChipIn button over in the little widget on the top right to help raise $50,000 by mid January to help provide warm beds, love and care for the 16,000 abandoned or neglected animals expected at the RSPCA Victoria's animal shelters over the Christmas period.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who's already donated!  Here's more info...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Help Animals: Is Scarlett Catty in Dog-Gone with the Wind



Today is the 70th anniversary of David O. Selznick's sweeping epic dramatic-romance-weepie movie {based on Margaret Mitchell's novel}, Gone with the Wind.   I saw it when I was 15 years old and developed a teensy crush on Vivien Leigh.  I think it had a lot to do with Scarlett's gowns, and feeling sorry for her having to endure Clark Gable's breath, rumoured to make large dogs run a mile {let alone cats}.

Speaking of dogs and cats, I'd planned on doing an illustrative tribute to Gone with the Wind, when along came an email asking for help with something that's much closer to my heart than fancy dresses: animal welfare.  With jingle bells on, I accepted a request to participate with other bloggers to help raise $50,000 to help care for the 16,000 abandoned or neglected animals expected to land on the doorsteps {and they are just the "lucky" ones} of the RSPCA Victoria's animal shelters over the Christmas period.

So with your collective help, strong silent types {aka "lurkers"} included, I'm hoping to exceed the modest target given to me of $100 $240 by 15th January.  {Update 16 Dec: thanks so very much ~ due to the wonderful response, we're increasing my target.} Please, no matter what the amount, join me if you can by clicking on the ChipIn button over in the little widget on the top right.  Donations go directly to this appeal, providing some warm beds, comfort and the drying of tears of animals of all shapes, sizes and ages at this tough time of year.

It seemed only fitting to combine my tribute to Gone With the Wind with a tribute to our wonderful little furry rays of sunshine, goodness and light.  {Cafe Pasadena, my mixing of canine and feline is for a good cause ~ I'm sure you forgive me.} 

Thank you so very much!  And after you've donated, if you haven't already entered my giveaway, please pop over here before 9am Friday 18th December {Brisbane time}.  Bonne chance...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Venerdi in Venice: A Ponte of Pigeons and a Giveaway!



I've raided Alexa's Venice holiday snaps again.  {Grazie mille, dear Alexa!!}  Without even asking her, I know she was wandering next to the Ponte Giustinian when she paused to take the beautiful photo I used as inspiration for this illustration.  But I suspect she didn't feed the pigeons.

And guess what?  If you're taken with this illo, you can order a gorgeous archival-quality print here.  Yay!  {If you'd like a print of something you've seen here on the blog and it's not yet available, just email me at shellsherree[!at]gmail.com and I'll put it up for you.}

Yes, now you can order prints of your favourite Shell Sherrees in my Etsy store, and to celebrate, what better than a giveaway? {You don't need to answer that.}  I'm a little bit in love with my new pro printer, Charismatic Canon, aka Simon Print-Baker.  We're very nicely acquainted after testing and trialling.  I have three prints that were my next-to-final prints in the testing phase ~ virtually the same as the ones I'm selling ~ and the Scottish blood in me would rather send them to appreciative homes than throw them away.  You might remember these:


          Katie's Fleurs       Paris Pink Vespa Girl      Virginia's Macarons

Each one is printed with pigment inks on certified archival 308 gsm Matt FineArt Hahnemühle Photo Rag 100% cotton paper, so when treated with care, will last longer than any of us, damn it.  There's a small selection available already, and I'll continue to add new ones regularly.  Cards are coming, but due to supplier hiccups, so is Christmas.  Oh.  Anyway ...  I'll tell you when they are in!

To enter the giveaway, just leave a scintillating comment full of praise and flattery {here's your chance, Mise} before 9am next Friday 18th December Brisbane time {you can convert to your zone here}, and into the random draw you'll go.  I'll announce the winners in next Friday's post, and we can arrange via email who receives which print ~ first choice goes to the first drawn and so on.   Update 18th December: Congrats to the winners: click here to find out if you won!

And finally ~
Happy Venerdi in Venice to you!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Time and Butter-Flies with Guerlain



The party season has started over here, and to help one flitter around, sprinkling the fairy dust of intrigue and desire in one's wake, we can turn to Guerlain, an iconic fragrance house of Paris, founded by Pierre François Pascal Guerlain in 1828 as a "Parfumeur Vinaigrier" on 42 Rue de Rivoli, on the same site as the Hôtel Meurice.

Its perfumed shimmer powder is a "violet scented, sparkling powder" that will "sublimate and illuminate shoulders, arms, back, décolleté and hair."  I don't know about you, but I've always wanted to sublimate myself. This year's 2009 Christmas Collection features a white gold bottle with a long black tassel atomiser, and screened with black lace.  Very elegant.  Very nice.  I just wish I'd known that before I found my clipping from what must have been last year's magazine, and drew you the 2008 collection: Midnight Butterfly.  Oops. Time flies.

I'm kind of glad, though.  The silver and purple-lilac tones of that collection are soft and pretty and feminine, and can we ever have too many butterflies?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Francophile Friday Fleurish: Not-So-Cherubic by Nature


I'm not sure if this little cherub approves of his conversion from a small decorative fountain to a pot of flowery grasses on the wall of his farm house in Provence.   He looks a bit cranky about it to me.  If I ever choose to do something like that, I'll discuss it with the cherub first to be sure he's amenable to his new facilities ~ something I would not have previously thought necessary with a cherub.

Contrary to what this petulant little fellow may wish ~
Happy Francophile Friday Fleurish to you!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Merci's Fiat de Resistance

 ink & watercolour illustration on cotton paper, 6.25" x 9.25" [16 x 23cm]

It's one thing to say, "Merci," when leaving a store in Paris ~ it's another to give your store that name.  And what better name to choose, when your store sends all its profits {after break-even} to charity, as does Merci. This generous creation of Marie-France et Bernard Cohen {founders of iconic children's boutique, Bonpoint} is housed in a converted textile factory on Boulevard Beaumarchais on the edge of Le Marais.   {I'm tickled pink that they used a drawing for their website, which I found after doing my illustration.  And I'd be even more tickled pink if it was mine, yes.}

Merci stocks all kinds of quirky recycled, upcycled and unicycled items of furniture, homewares and fashion.  There's something for all the senses ~ you can also partake of lunch or coffee, and take your empty flacon to the Annick Goutal perfume bar {Marie-France's late sister} for a refill.   This excellent article says it all, so without further ado, I'd like to draw attention to the star of the show, "a teeny, vintage, red Fiat Cinquecento at the entrance, overflowing with funky objects like a modern sculpture, that give Merci its unique charm.  The Cinquecento installation, created by the London-based photographer and style director Tim Walker, sits at the entrance like living, three-dimensional photo advertisement - improbable, yet there it is."

I'd like one, inflatable crocodile and all.  {Clarence needs company.}  How about you?  Santa, are you there???