XXXX Marks the Spot


ink & watercolour illustration, 7" x 7" [18 x 18cm]

In last Friday's comments, I promised Cafe Pasadena we'd go somewhere more colourful this week.  So, I present to you: the local XXXX factory.  Someone once told me that "XXXX" means something colourful if you're not in Australia.  Here, it's just the name of our local beer, whose brewery is situated just a few minutes walk from our local homage to the Eiffel Tower.  I'm not a beer drinker, so when you've finished the brewery tour {which may even include a little colourful language}, you'll find me around the corner, wearing black ... s'il vous plaît.

Oh, and I'm trying out some new decor, subject to your thoughts on the matter.  I've shied away from such fripperies in the past, but since we're being colourful today, I thought I'd ask you:  Keep the fripperies, or stay with the classic white? UPDATE:  Thank you for your generous audience participation ~ the fripperies were a fetching diversion but the classic white shall stay.

Francophile Friday: Being Smart About Paris


ink & watercolour illustration, photo inspiration Katie of Katiefornia

I love my car.  I've been told it's not usual to give one's car a man's name, but mine's called Niles ~ as in the TV comedy Frasier.  He's a silver and black VW Golf Cabriolet: he errs on the small side, he's dapper without attracting a lot of attention, and he's very endearing.  Sadly, he's getting on a bit in years now and though he's wonderful for his age and there's no sign of unruly nose hairs yet, he does have a few health issues that are inevitable over the course of enough time.   Much as I don't know if I'll bear to part with him, I'm surreptitiously eyeing off some possible candidates ~ they'll never fill his tyres, but I'm sure I can grow to love them in a different way.  

One of the cars I might vaguely consider is a Smart car, partly due to the environmental side of things, and mostly because it's a good excuse to segue into today's illustration.  Thanks yet again to dear Katie of Katiefornia for the very pretty photo inspiration! {If you love quirky postcards and good humour, you'll be glad to visit Katie's place}.  This was taken in the streets of Paris on a fairly recent trip.  We may need to arrange the removal and smuggling of those doors ~ anyone want in?  And on that shameful note...

Happy Francophile Friday to you!

PS:  Packs of quality art cards with envelopes are now available at my Etsy store ~ you can mix and match any of my illustrations from the store or  from here on the blog to make up a 5pk, and there's also a ready-made Paris pack.  Any questions, please pop me an email...

Waiter, There's Something in My Cake


ink & watercolour illustration, 7.25" x 8.25" [18.5 x 21cm]
If you visited last Tuesday and followed the comments, today's celebration won't be a surprise to you.  As this seems a popular time for birthdays, we're having the equivalent of the office group hug birthday party, where we'll all stand around with our coffee mugs, blowing paper whistles and either mumbling or singing loudly with misplaced confidence to everyone having a birthday in the next few weeks. 

But I'm shining the limelight on two in particular, both well known in these parts ~ PopCultureNerd and Petrea of Pasadena Daily Photo {aka Petit PDP}.  Since they are both actors, writers and bloggers and live in the same approximate part of the globe, I decided to put them in charge of entertainment.  Maybe sometime soon they'll bust out of that cake and start dancing for us, if it's not too much trouble {tap, tap, tap...}   Or they might just start eating their way out.  It's double chocolate with caramel flowers, in case you're wondering.  Here's an antique silver fork and spoon ~ I polished them especially.   And on that note...

Happy Birthday dear Petrea and PCN, and to all those who fit the paper birthday cap!

Venerdi in Venice: A Streetlight Named Desire


ink & watercolour illustration, inspiration thanks to Pierre Pareja, Venice Daily Photo

Just as everything inside looks better in candlelight, I suspect everything outside looks better in lamplight.  Our streetlight across the road is functional, serviceable, but cannot hold a candle to a lamp like this one.  This three-in-one model even has its very own rose-coloured glasses.  All the better to see me with!

Grazie mille to the charming and kind Pierre at Venice Daily Photo for his quite breathtaking photo inspiration.  And on that note ...

Happy Venerdi in Venice to you!

Rae's a Birthday Toast


ink & watercolour illustration, 7" x 8" [18 x 20cm]

One of our lovely regulars here is having a birthday.  With the tact and discretion you've come to expect, I'll allow her to put up her hand if she wishes.  I thought we could all meet at Rae's for a swish and hip birthday dinner.  It's a shame this restaurant no longer exists outside my imagination, but it will provide us with the perfect place, as we'll have it entirely to ourselves.  After this stint in the Brisbane CBD quite some years ago, the owner {who I think could possibly be named "Rae"} had a sea change south to the beautiful coastal town of Byron Bay on the eastern-most tip of mainland Australia, and created this luxurious spot.  Come to think of it, we can easily move the party there ... just wait one moment while I hire a vintage convertible Mercedes and Vespas with side-cars.

Happy Birthday, birthday girl!

Francophile Friday: The Tenin Perspective Phenomenon


ink & watercolour illustration, photo inspiration thanks to Eric Tenin

If you love Paris, you must surely by now be aware of Paris Daily Photo.  If not, please visit there post haste and bookmark or subscribe tout de suite, otherwise you are missing out on a daily treat of great magnitude!   

Paris Daily Photo celebrated its 5th birthday yesterday.  PDP was created by the sweet and friendly Parisian {"yes, it's true!"} Eric Tenin, and the City Daily Photo community grew from there, also thanks to Eric.  For five years {and one day}, Eric has been posting a photo of Paris every single day, and in the process, has also become known for taking photos at ground level or from tipsy angles, in spite of never once being tipsy while photographing.  Never once.  Yesterday, many members of the CDP community honoured Eric by taking their daily photos while lying flat on their stomachs in the middle of traffic, or kneeling while aiming skywards and toppling over like nine pins, thereby creating an extension of the Tenin Perspective, known as the Tenin Perspective Phenomenon ~ the likes of which could well be seen again each year around this time.  So when you're out and about in your city on 11th March each year, please, do remember to look down in case there's a dedicated City Daily Photo blogger lying prostrate before you while taking a no-doubt-sensational photo.

Today's illustration is a tribute to Eric, based on his photo taken on Rue Victor Massé, typifying just one example of the Tenin Perspective.  {Thank goodness I chose not to do this in Meep Miniature...} Congratulations on five remarkable years of dedication and generosity of spirit, dear Eric, and wishing you as many more as makes you happy!    And on that note...

Happy Francophile Friday to you all!

Pining at the Bathing Pavilion


ink & watercolour illustration, 8" x 5.75" [20.5 x 14.5cm]

I know it's late, but no, I haven't been lounging at the Bathing Pavilion in Redcliffe all day.  {I haven't been there at all today.  And you might be wondering what I'm doing here.  Surprise!}  But if I had been at the Bathing Pavilion today, I'd have worn a large, wide-brimmed hat and polka-dotted swimming togs with a frilled skirt.  And white-framed sunglasses and matching heels.  I feel those would really set it off a treat.  So would some fish and chips.  Anyone care to join me before the rain sets in again?

Francophile Friday: Madame et Le Chat Noir


ink & watercolour illustration, 8.75" x 7" [22.5 x 18cm]

Black cats bring me luck.   If you don't believe me, just look at this.  Kind and sweet MmeBenaut {and fellow kitty fancier} sent me her travel photos of this gorgeous Paris scene, so I consider myself very lucky.  

Thank you for the beautiful photo inspiration, MmeB!!!  As for my own black cats, they've brought me not just luck, but more love-purr-kilo than I can describe.  I'm truly blessed.  And on that note...

Happy Francophile Friday to you all!

PS:  You might find me just posting on Fridays some weeks ~ please bear with me and thanks for understanding ~ assuming you do understand and aren't presently shaking your fist or waving a pitchfork at me!


Casa Del-uge


ink & watercolour illustration, 7" x 8" [18 x 19.5cm]

We've had quite a deluge in the last 24 hours or so, making it the wettest summer we've had for six years.  Tanks are overflowing.  Washing is hanging limp and steadfastly refusing to dry in spite of the washing line being under good cover, and repeated threats of tumble-drying from yours truly.  And my Closet Camels have grown a second hump and left in search of a nice stretch of desert.  

This old place with its confusion of styles is as confusingly named Casa Del Mar, in spite of being near the Brisbane River, not the sea. Let's hope poor drainage doesn't turn their yard into a swimming pool to further confuse the Gods of House Names.
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