Friday, January 29, 2010

Venerdi in Venice: Shutter-Eye for Siesta

ink & watercolour illustration, 10" x 8" [25.5 x 20.5cm]

Venetians are so practical in our steamy summers.  I love how they filter the light while allowing for ventilation and cross-breezes.  Speaking of Venetians... {yes, we were ~ how coincidental...}

I thought I'd illustrated all of my own snaps of Venice, but as I mopped the humidity from my brow late this morning and searched for inspiration and one of those magical cross-breezes, I found this old photo of mine.  Judging by the way everything's closed on the street, I'm guessing I took this during the afternoon siesta.  And now, I'll shutter-up so that you can have one, too.

Happy Venerdi in Venice to you!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Life's a Beach on Australia Day


ink & watercolour illustration, 8" x 10" [20 x 25.5cm]

It's Australia Day ~ the anniversary of the landing of the First Fleet under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip in Sydney Cove in 1788 ~ and a great excuse for a public holiday.  We do love to party.

It seems only right that Australia Day coincides with the height of summer here, where the three iconic Bs ~ Backyard cricket, BBQs and Beaches ~ are typical ways of celebrating this special day with family and friends.  If I was heading to the beach, I'd be happy to find a deck chair like this one waiting for me just next to the tide line, but with plenty of shade from a muslin-draped cabana.  Someone to fan me with a palm frond and spritz me with jasmine-frangipani water would be nice, too.  If you're in the northern hemisphere and shivering in the drizzle or grey, you're welcome to sit here a while with me.  I'll order some cocktails and mocktails to be served in half pineapples with straws and little umbrellas printed with kangaroos, koalas and kookaburrasYou're welcome.  And Happy Australia Day to us all!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Francophile Friday: Happy Birthday, Eric


ink & watercolour illustration, photo inspiration Eric Tenin {Paris Daily Photo}

As Francophile Friday nearly coincided with the 50th birthday yesterday of dearly loved and highly esteemed blogger, Eric Tenin of Paris Daily Photo {and founder of the City Daily Photo community}, I thought I'd honour Eric by illustrating one of his photos.  When I sat and thought about it, I was surprised to find that I've only done this once before, though my celebration of his 2009 PDP Picnic might have compensated in a fashion. 

You can see the original photo of Eric's here, where you can also read about what it means.  {In short, it's a bicycle hire and repair shop called Allovelo.com.} There are countless beauties I could have chosen, but I closed my eyes and picked the first thing my mouse landed on, so here we are.  As Eric takes us on a daily Tour de France Paris and attracts many secret and not-so-secret admirers, not mentioning any names, the bicycle with its hot pink love heart in a typical Paris street seemed a perfect fit.

Happy Birthday, Eric, and Happy Francophile Friday to you all!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pottering Around


ink & watercolour illustration, 7.25" x 6.5" [19 x 16.5cm]

One of my favourite places to have coffee is a nearby nursery and homewares establishment.  Their cafe overlooks a refreshing fountain and masses of plants, and has a restorative vibe about it.  And aside from having plants, it looks nothing like this one! 

But this one, though it no longer exists, was very gorgeous in its day, and transported you to Provence or Tuscany when you walked through its stone doorway.  Not literally, of course... otherwise I'm guessing the shop would still be in business. 

Just like the nursery up the road, such places make me long to potter with potting and attempt an Edward Scissorhands out in the garden.  But I'm worried my hair may start to look like his.  And black hair just doesn't suit me.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Fleurish: Demitasse of Daisies


ink & watercolour illustration, 5" x 5.25" [12.5 x 13cm]

I love supporting the local RSPCA thrift shop. I regularly de-clutter and haul off my booty.  Then I arrive back home again and unpack someone else's de-cluttered booty, procured for a bargain price while I bask in the warm, fuzzy glow of helping warm, fuzzy animals with my purchase.

A few months ago, on a nonsensical-yet-philanthropic de-cluttering and re-cluttering cycle such as the aforementioned one, I was chuffed to find this sweet gold-rimmed demitasse cup and saucer, produced by Westminster.  It's an Australian china manufacturer about which I can find little of substance, though I apologise that my research today was scanty.  Nearly as scanty as ... oh, never mind.  So to make amends, I'm adding a handful of quasi-daisy-like blooms to enjoy for the weekend.  I thought I'd choose a colour that brings a little cheery sunshine for those who'd love some at the moment. 

And on the subject of the RSPCA ~ Thank You from the bottom of my heart to those who Chipped In and helped the RSPCA Victoria to care for abandoned and neglected animals over the Christmas/New Year season.  The fundraiser ends tomorrow, so you can still make a last-minute donation ~ all are valued more than words can say!  And now...

Happy Friday Fleurish to you!  PS: My internet access in the next few days may be dodgy, so if I haven't checked in or visited your blogs as usual, please forgive me ~ I'll make up for it as soon as I can!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

All the King's Horses...



By George, our gracious Brisbane City Hall is being swamped.  Literally.  Being built on swampy ground will do that to you.  In an "oopsie" of gigantic proportions, my own theory is that when the rising damp was reported to those responsible for the location choice, they misheard it as "rising damper" and put the kettle on.

Not even this fine statue of King George V on his trusty steed can save City Hall.  But the government and locals must do their best, as Brisbane life wouldn't be the same without this beautiful old building and its rich history.  Not to mention that my own grandfather worked there, so it's more than a wee bit sentimental to me.  All is not lost, though.  Three years of structural and cosmetic nip, tuck and architectural Spanx are underway and hopefully, she'll be better than new again.  And how's this for fun: the clocktower is based on St Mark's Campanile in Venice, and the beautiful auditorium is based on Rome's Pantheon.  It seems that six degrees of separation doesn't just apply to people...


PS:  My fund raising drive to help animals in RSPCA Victoria's shelters ends THIS SATURDAY.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those who've already dug deep and helped out ~ your donations are tremendously valued.  Ready to join us?  Just click the ChipIn button on the top right to provide some comfort to all creatures great and small who desperately need it.  Here's the background info... and Thank You!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Venerdi in Venice: Pierre's Boating Reflections


ink & watercolour illustration, 10" x 7.5" [25 x 19cm]

The New Year is often a time of reflection.  In Venice, every day is a time of reflection.  Warning: this one might make your eyes go funny if you gaze at it for long enough ~ even more so for the captivating photo taken by Pierre at Venice Daily Photo, on which I based today's illustration.  {Thank you so very much, Pierre ~ just another one of the countless beauties over at your place ~ grazie mille!}

I'm not sure of its construction materials {this should come as no surprise}, but most likely, this little motor boat would be called a "tinny" in Australia, and taken out for weekend fishing trips with the mates ~ an outing that would bear no resemblance whatsoever to this Venetian scene {for a start, I'm guessing there's no beer under that canopy} ~ so I don't even know why I mentioned it.  That aside ...

Happy Venerdi in Venice to you!

PS:  Just ONE WEEK and a day to go with our fund raising drive to help animals in RSPCA Victoria's shelters.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those who've already dug deep and helped out ~ your donations are tremendously valued.  Ready to join us?  Just click the ChipIn button on the top right to provide some comfort to all creatures great and small who desperately need it.  Here's the background info... and Thank You!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Clowning Around in Morocco


ink & watercolour illustration, 8" x 10" [20.5 x 25.5cm]

Last post, our talk of rose petal tea and rose water led me to thinking of peppermint tea, which led me to wandering through this alleyway in Morocco {Just in my imagination, as you've come to expect...}  When I kept this charming holiday snap of Katie's as fodder for an illustration {thanks as always, Katie!!}, my first quick glance of it assumed a bicycle to be leaning in the foreground.  When I sat and started drawing, I stopped before adding a second wheel and had to zoom, re-zoom and hydrate my contact lenses to be sure ~ it looks like this is some kind of unicycle, or the end result of a practical joke.  I can't help wondering if there's a circus clown slaving over a tajine with Katie in a cooking class behind one of these doors...

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, January 1, 2010

Friday Fleurish: A Spot of Tea, Petal?



A spot of rose tea seems a gentle way to ease into the New Year.  I have to admit, I love it more for the pretty visual it creates than the flavour ~ pouring just-boiled water over several pink rosebuds in a delicate porcelain cup and watching the petals drift and eddy is very relaxing.  I don't recommend drinking this one, as it's all rose petals, no tea, but it's a sweet addition to the table.  May your cup this year runneth over with beauty, love and la dolce vita...

Happy Friday Fleurish to you!

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