Francophile Friday: Aqua with Pink by a Whisker


ink & watercolour weensy meep miniature, 2.5 x 3.5" [6.5 x 9cm ] ACQUIRE A MEEP
Aqua with pink is one of my favourite combinations.  Pink with aqua is another. No wonder I was so taken with Virginia's photo taken in Bray sur Seine, not too far from Paris.  {Thanks yet again, dear V!}  The kitty was a bonus, though I'd have included one regardless, so I took liberty with a spot of hairbrushing and gave her longer whiskers. 

Before we amble into the French countryside for the weekend, just a little heads-up that I'll only be posting on Fridays again for the next little while, so I'll be very much looking forward to catching up with you all this time next week for another adventure!  And on that note...

Happy Francophile Friday to you!

Venerdi in Venice: Gondola of Mystery


ink & watercolour illustration, 8.75" x 7" [22.5 x 18cm], private commission
I've been blessed to create some lovely commissions as mementos of holidays and special occasions, and today, I thought I'd show you another one.  This delightful client has engaged me more than once, and after some Paris illustrations several months ago, we recently travelled over to Venice to even up the balance.

Now, you know I'm the soul of discretion, so I've protected the anonymity of my subjects by placing large sunhats on their heads.  Yes, that's the kind of privacy you can rely on when engaging me.  You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out that the gondolier was not my client and has to make do with his traditional straw number.  {And seems singularly unimpressed.}  As you can see, this unhappy chappy is not Hugh, who was entertaining us at the time if you can recall.  Smiles all around.  And on that note...

Happy Venerdi in Venice to you!

Raise the Blue Bar


ink & watercolour weensy meep miniature, 3.5 x 2.5" [9 x 6.5cm ] ACQUIRE A MEEP
Towards the end of last week, I saw two cats, a puppy dog and a scrub turkey deeply engrossed in our timber fence.  After a week of deluge, I suspect they were sizing up the palings with regards to their Ark potential.  They could well be mistaking their carpentering aspirations with their abilities {the bar has been set rather high, after all}, so I was relieved to awaken last Saturday to skies the colour of this French sign.  They might hold out for a few more days until the rain starts again {touch wood}.  After that, if any of my meagre home handywoman supplies go missing, I know where I'm looking first.

Francophile Friday: Seeing Red in Paris


ink & watercolour weensy meep miniature, 2.5 x 3.5" [6.5 x 9cm ] ACQUIRE A MEEP
While red is not generally a colour to which I'm drawn, that doesn't mean I'm not drawn to drawing it when the whim takes me.  And today, the whim took me.  I had to look twice when I realised Virginia's gorgeous photo that inspired this was posted over a year ago.  Sacrebleu!  A gentle reminder of the value of seizing the day and loving each moment.  {Thank you, chère Virginia, comme toujours.}  Let's sally forth into the weekend energised by the passion and intensity of such joyful extroversion.   Come, let us seek macarons in all shades of red.  And on that note...

Happy Francophile Friday to you!

Meep: The Tulip Van Goes


ink & watercolour weensy meep miniature, 3.5 x 2.5" [9 x 6.5cm ] ACQUIRE A MEEP
This tulip-laden truck is not a figment of my imagination.  Aside from the weensy driver.  While the council now requires us to obtain licenses for our cats, they aren't yet of the vehicular variety.  {Patience, my pretties... all in due course...}  But back to the truck.  The real, life-size one belongs to Joost Bakker of Urban Crop, described by Vogue Living {Australia Sep/Oct 2010 issue, whose cover I'm in love with but that's another story} as "the Johnny Appleseed of Melbourne's sustainability movement".  If you live in Melbourne, this truck could be stopping at a convenient location near you These bunches of flowers {herbs coming soon} have their root systems intact and their own little supply of special soil ~ so they still have life in them.  And surely that's a good thing.  Urban Crop tells the story in a rather lovely way if you'd like to read more.  I'll leave you to it while I go and warm up the engine.  It's time for a certain someone's driving lesson...

Francophile Friday: Rainy Day Reflections


ink & watercolour illustration, 7" x 8.75" [18 x 22.5cm]
It’s good weather for ducks here today.  I’m not sure if that applies to Paris as well, but a weekend of quiet reflection sounds nice, especially near the Galeries Lafayette Maison {and perhaps the rear entrance of this fine establishment?}  Thanks to dear Eric of Paris Daily Photo for the inspiration for today’s illustration.   But before we all don some fashionable gumboots or galoshes or wellingtons and go splashing around in puddles, perhaps you’d like to know which lucky duckies won prizes in my second blogoversary giveaway?  I know, the suspense has been crazy, and you’ve done well to contain yourselves for this long.

The first name randomly drawn, and winner of this weensy Meep Miniature, is VenetiaMicio!  Second and third names drawn out were Yvonne and PopCultureNerd, who will both receive the Shell Sherree illustration of their choice as a notecard mini-print.  {I’ll email you all shortly to make the arrangements.}  Congratulations to the winners, and thanks so very much to all of you once again for your kind and generous well wishes.   And on that note...

Happy Francophile Friday to you!   Quack, quack.

Black Forest Without the Calories


ink & watercolour weensy meep miniature, 3.5 x 2.5" [9 x 6.5cm ] ACQUIRE A MEEP
Ok, the weekend in Venice grew a little out of control.  Last time I checked the apartment, Hiker and Margaret were having a Campari-fuelled debate over which Goddess would have best suited S. Fott Kitzgerald.  Meanwhile, Hugh capsized our gondola several times due to his seeming inability to control his dancing feet once Mise lured him into trying some prosecco by telling him it was sparkling iced tea.  Not to mention what happened when he caught a fish for Micio and Meepsie to share. On top of all that, we ate our body weight in risotto and chocolate-fountain-dipped Campari macarons that Katie magically managed to procure for us.  And I wouldn't trade a moment! 

Nonetheless, I felt it would be beneficial for us to take some exercise while skipping the calories today.  Here's a charming little chalet that we found while powerwalking in and around the Black Forest and firmly averting our collective gaze any time we passed a Black Forest Cake Shop.  {I have no idea where exactly, but thanks so much to Papirazzi for the inspiration!}  By Friday, we should be in shape again for whatever treats the coming weekend holds...

Psst: You only have until noon Brisbane time Thursday 7th October to enter the giveaway draw to celebrate my 2nd blogoversary.  Just pop over here to enter...

Venerdi in Venice: Miaou Micio


ink & watercolour illustration, 8.75" x 7" [22.5 x 18cm]
Lately, I've been seeing a lot of our Hugh in a TV commercial.  And while I'm thoroughly enjoying the viewing pleasure, between you and me, I think he has too much time on his hands.  Far better that we keep him fully occupied, steering our gondola tea party around Venice and scattering us with rose petals.  So our mission this weekend, should you choose to accept it, is to ensure that drinking iced tea is far from his mind.  Unless it's in our company, of course.  Micio is amused by our antics just out of sight in the canal below.  Thanks to dear Danielle of VenetiaMicio for graciously allowing me to use her gorgeous photos for inspiration.  If you haven't ventured over to her place yet, I whole-heartedly recommend it.  It's a wonderful opportunity to exercise your French language muscles as well if you're so inclined.  The best of both worlds.  And on that note...

Happy Venerdi in Venice to you!

Psst: You only have until noon Brisbane time Thursday 7th October to enter the giveaway draw to celebrate my 2nd blogoversary.  Just pop over here to enter...
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