Posts Tagged ‘beautiful’

Percival the Pig

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

My friend, sewing-and-cooking inspiration, and ex-boss, Claire, recommended I read a book she had recently read with her children. Yes, at the wee-ages of two and four they are slightly younger than me but I feel we have similar interests when it comes to well-written and beautiful illustrated children’s books. The ABC Menagerie by M.H. Clark and Elena V. Targioni is a book for everyone – it is so beautiful, funny and heartwarming that even robots would feel emotions while reading it.

ABC Menagerie

ABC Menagerie - image from LiveInspired

Each page of the book introduces a new animal and their particular habits and the rhyming text is accompanied by a photograph of a felt/material version of the creature. Similar to my sock creatures, these guys are slightly odd and always have something ‘different’ about them. There are many amazing personalities and the creatures themselves are so wonderfully crafted that you feel like you could reach into the page and pat them.

abc menagerie

Jesenia the Jaguar – image from LiveInspired

I thought I would share the text from one of the pages as I currently feel like this animal. Last night I went for dinner with friends at Le Jardin D’en Face and ate far too much and therefore wish I had the same release mechanisms as this guy:

Percival the Pig

Percival’s dinners are rich and gourmet,
with plenty of chocolate éclairs.
Whenever he’s had one too many that day,
his safety valves let out the air.

Buy and read this book. No matter what age you are, it will make you smile. Thanks for the recommendation, Claire.

Glorious

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Owen Wilson once said, with the help of a horrible script by Woody Allen, that Paris is beautiful in the rain. He has clearly never seen it in the sunshine.

I can smell summer.

 

Blue sky

Hello blue sky.

So Beautiful

Monday, March 19th, 2012

I am in love.

With a dress. I ran past a photograph advertising this Chloé design on Saturday morning and had to stop and look closer. What a shame it costs over 2500 Euros and you need to look like these girls in order to wear it. Maybe I will just superimpose my head on them and pretend.

Chloé dress

So beautiful.

Weekend Fun Times

Monday, January 16th, 2012

I was thrilled to be living in Paris this weekend – we had amazing weather with very cold temperatures but crisp blue skies and the occasional puffy white cloud. I love this weather as everything glistens with the icy frosts and sparkling sunlight. So pretty.

After my run on Saturday morning, I decided I deserved to eat whatever I wanted that afternoon and so headed to my favourite cafe – Kooka Boora – for a coffee and a piece of cake. Somewhat unfortunately, over the past few weeks, the owners of Kooka Boora have decided to renovate and have installed new furniture. The comfy couches have been removed and replaced with pine box seats, lots of tables and little wooden stools. While it looks cool, it is now a very difficult space to navigate and everyone is sitting on top of each other. It is far less comfortable and is now clearly designed for people to come, eat and leave, rather than sit around reading a book for a few hours with a cup of coffee. Pity. It will still be good in summer when the outdoor tables are available but the new indoor layout isn’t really doing it for me.

Anyway, the guy taking orders was in a very generous and somewhat flirtatious mood and insisted on giving me a HUGE piece of blueberry cake. I can’t say it was an issue for me – their cakes are really very tasty. So this was my Fun Times Count Down item #6.1 as I had already been for a long run that day which counted as my fun item for Saturday.

Blueberry cake

That's a big slice.

Sunday was a quiet day for me but as I sat inside talking to my parents on Skype, I became increasingly aware of how great it looked outside. So after lunch I grabbed my book and went in search of a sunny seat in the park or along the canal, for my Fun Times Count Down Item #7. Unfortunately I forgot that while the sun might be shining, 5 degrees is still bloody cold, and no matter how sunny a spot I found, I couldn’t sit still for long as my bottom would freeze to the chair. So instead I took photos of the canal for you to see how pretty it was (although please excuse the poor quality of my phone camera) and then went shopping. I bought myself two books – one with sewing projects, the other about handmade products that have been designed by artists around the world. More inspiration.

Canal Saint Martin

So pretty.

Tom came and joined me and we went and had a cup of tea at a BoBo-tastic cafe/bar near the canal called Le Comptoir General. It is a big shed-like-space with lots of couches, tables, chairs and knickknacks lying around. It is very hippy-chic and the local BoBos love it. My cup of tea was over priced and that yucky green tea that tastes like seaweed. Tom’s hot chocolate was over priced and only half of his already small cup was filled. So we weren’t that impressed. While the space was interesting, I’m not sure I will rush back for more tea.

Comptoir General

BoBo-nified

Fun Times Count Down #3

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Yesterday was one of those days in Paris where the beauty of every street corner, every tree, every canal, every cloud, every everything is multiplied by a thousand plus one. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and there were little fluffy white clouds everywhere. Birds were singing and I’m fairly certain I saw Bambi prancing down the street. Mary Poppins would have been pleased.

Riding a bike through this general scene of gloriousness put me in the perfect mood to tackle French crowds at the Paul Klee exhibition. I knew it was going to be busy and I knew there would be too many people trying to look at a picture and then read the little text stuck on the wall next to it. As Ben and I had already attempted to get into the exhibition last Friday with no success, I booked a ticket in advance to avoid waiting in line. It was a great idea and I don’t know why I don’t always do it. I could get in straight away and give looks of pity to those waiting to buy tickets. Les pauvres.

Cité de la Musique

Paul Klee exhibition

Of course no matter how many tickets you buy in advance, there will always be far too many people inside the actual exhibition space and those people you cannot avoid. The exhibition was about Paul Klee (a Swiss artist who worked in the late 19th/early 20th centuries) who I had previously only know (and admired) for his paintings. It turns out both he and his family were highly musical and a large amount of his paintings are inspired or even derive from musical theory and practise.  The exhibition was located within the music museum of Paris and hence the focus was more on how music affected his work than what I have previously seen in other exhibitions. The exhibition wasn’t particularly well laid out and the information provided jumped all over the place and didn’t seem to fit with the images associated in that section. However, Klee’s work was as interesting to see as usual and I was very interested to learn about how music and Klee’s studies into colour theory influenced his choice of colours, patterns and layouts in his paintings. Some of my favourite Klee paintings are made up of series of squares of varying colours, which I had previously taken for granted as just being pretty things. In this exhibition I learnt that Klee developed a mathematical system connected to his favourite classical music to work out what colours would be used next to other colours within the painting. Very interesting indeed.

There was a video which showed some of Klee’s work and then the music that influenced the work was played over the top. Instantly the image changed in meaning and became a significantly more powerful piece.

Generally the exhibition was interesting but I’m not certain why it has become the hit exhibition to see in Paris this month. It seems to be the thing to do for those over the age of 60, plus, as it is school holidays, the gallery was full of children. Yes, yes, I think it is good that kids go and see art and that they’re not stuck in front of their Nintendo Wiis, however I do think they need to be told NOT to run around like maniacs through the gallery. I also think old people need to be told not to talk so loudly, not to stand in the middle of thoroughfares and to watch where they are going so that they don’t walk into you all the time.

So that was my fun activity for the day. I enjoy walking through galleries although I prefer it when I am the only person there. The real highlight was riding to and from the Cité de la Musique along Canal Saint Martin. It was good to be in Paris.

It’s All About the Hair

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Meet Angelique.

Angelique

Hello.

Angelique is half Parisian, half Algerian, and the proud owner of an amazing head of hair. She works as a sales assistant at Le Chic hair and nail salon on Boulevard de Sébastopol, one of the busiest African beauty streets in Paris. She has been voted “Best Sales Assistant” via customer reviews every month since she started there. Angelique loves her work and puts every effort into her own appearance in order to set a good example for the store. All the ladies come to get their hair braided and their nails varnished by Angelique and they keep telling her she should set up her own store. Unfortunately, the guy she works for barely pays her a cent and threatens to cut off her beautiful long locks if she dares leave. It’s a tough world in the beauty scene.

Angelique

So pretty.

Angelique has always been interested in fashion and beauty – her mother likes to tell the story about how when Angelique was just six months old, she managed to apply some lipstick she had found on the floor. These days, Angelique gets up at 5am every day in order to start getting ready for the day. It takes a long time to look this good. Her hair is her favourite personal attribute – every day she cleans and styles her hair, forming it into a different shape depending on her mood and the theme of her outfit. She loves to add a bit of bling to her attire – today she is wearing a lovely yellow bow (given to her by one of her favourite clients) and a gold necklace she saved up to buy.

Angelique dreams of opening her own store one day. Not only would she offer hair and nail services, but there would be a designated space for the husbands and boyfriends to wait with televisions and magazines, as well as free coffee for all customers. She would also offer beauty consultation services for those ladies who just don’t know what to do with their hair. When she lies in bed at night time, she thinks about the design of her store, what colours she would use and what the name would be. She would really like to call her store So Angelique but she is worried she might appear too arrogant.

Angelique

How does she do that with her hair?

When Angelique is working and talking to her clients she is vibrant, fun and vivacious. However, it is a much different story when she is talking to boys. She is shy and would never dream of asking a boy out. She would love to have a boyfriend but whenever a guy shows interest in her, she turns away and hides. Lots of boys have tried – she is so beautiful! There is one boy in particular who keeps walking past her store, trying to catch her eye. He is a strange looking fellow with zebra stripes and he is always wearing reindeer antlers. Maybe one day they will meet and fall in love. Angelique certainly hopes so.

Angelique is on sale at my Etsy Store. Take her home today!

The Latest

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

So long, grey skies! Hello sunshine and blue! The last few days have brought glorious weather – although the wind is still biting and has a habit of getting through all layers of clothing. It’s bloody cold, really. I’m used to consecutive days of sunshine equalling warmer temperatures but so far this hasn’t happened. They forecast some higher numbers for the rest of the week which is a bit of a relief. Every time I try and put on a skirt the wind suggests otherwise.

But sunshine does bring general happiness – my mood seems to lift greatly when the sun is out. Paris looks so beautiful when it isn’t contending with grey clouds – the buildings shine, the trees seem to instantly fill with new buds, birds flutter and Parisians make out on park benches. The past weekend was particularly glorious. Saturday was Tom and my two-years-and-six-months-versary which we celebrate just for the excuse of going out to eat food. We had had a rather late one the night before (getting home at 3am is apparently early in Paris) so we didn’t get up until almost lunch time. We headed to Les Enfants Perdus – a cosy little restaurant in the next street. We treated ourselves to a fancy lunch – I had lamb, Tom had prawns, we both had chocolate cake. The restaurant was a delight – amazing food beautifully presented, lovely staff and a very cosy place to sit. Definitely one to go back to.

Lamb lunch

My lamb – so good.

Prawns

Tom's prawns – apparently also so good

Chocolate pudding

Chocolate cake with delicious, gooey innards. So so so good - although the menu said it had chilli in it. I couldn't find it... Clearly French "chilli"

After lunch we walked in the sunshine along the canal to Parc de la Villette – a large space with parkland, museums, giant glass domes, kids’ play equipment, concert halls… Tom described a conference hall located in the park as “Like the Perth Convention Centre, but with style and it actually works.” It’s nice to discover new places and to find places we want to go back to. So much to see.

Parc de la Villette

Parc de la Villette

Sunday was the first Sunday of the month so all of the art galleries were open for free. We caught three trains on the metro to get to Musee Rodin and wandered through the gallery and gardens looking at Rodin’s work. I had seen many replicas of The Thinker so it was amazing to finally see the real thing. Sundays are always ‘days out with the family’ for Parisians and they were all out in full swing, enjoying the rays of sunlight. People had clearly come to the Musee Rodin to simply sit in the sun in the garden. Poor French people with their lack of sunshine. That said, France gets heaps of sun compared to England. Give me Paris over London any day.

The Thinker

He's a thinker.

We walked back home through Saint Germain which was completely closed and made me think about everyone complaining about Perth’s lack of Sunday trading. Paris is just as bad. Everything closes on Sundays. Bakeries close at lunch time, just when you want some bread. Tom and I walked for miles trying to find a baguette – we ended up having lebanese.

Today I went shopping with my friend Pip (a fellow Perthian who has moved to Paris at the same time as me) and bought a lot. I went shopping with a list of necessities and came home with some added bonuses. I bought:

  1. Moisturiser for my excessively dry skin due to France’s stupidly cold air (necessity)
  2. Jeans (necessity as I only have one pair and my other pair of pants are too big)
  3. A tshirt (You always need tshirts)
  4. A grey skirt that has cool angles and is just great (it was half price so it would have been wrong not to buy it)
  5. Books (Books are educational (and these are beautiful) which means they are a necessity)
  6. A statue of a pig (added bonus)

The pig needs a name and I am currently undecided. I will post a photo of him soon so that everyone can meet my new pet. Maurice is a possibility – all I know is that he is a French cochon.

Ok well it is my bed time and I am going to post this sans-photos. My internet can’t handle uploading photos at this time of the day so I will add them later. So you can read this post TWICE. Lucky you!

It’s a Beautiful Thing

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Last time I really, really wanted something, I wrote about it on here, dropped enough hints and to my huge surprise and absolute delight, some wonderful people picked up the clues and gave me a red felt travel wallet for my birthday! Christmas is only 95 days away (yikes…) and I have just been introduced to Ron D. Swan, the swan in Castlemaine, Victoria who makes beautiful pannier bags. Such a clever bird.

Look at these:

Ron D. Swan bag

I can't believe a feathered creature could make such a nice bag.

Saddle bag

Look! It comes in red!

The bags clip to the side of your bike for easy storage while cycling and can then be taken off and worn as a shoulder bag. Genius! They’re made from recycled canvas so they’re also environmentally a-okay. Not exactly cheap, but they’re so beautiful!

A Few Months Too Late

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Don’t you  hate it when you buy something and then a little while later you find something even better? I’m having one of these moments right now as this morning I discovered a Melbourne based bicycle company who makes some beautiful dutch style bikes. And they come in red. While I love my Electra Amsterdam and I am completely content with my decision to buy it, it isn’t red. Those of you who know me well will understand why this is an issue for me. Everything I own is red – most of my shoes and clothes are red. My purse is red. Ninety per cent of my jewellery is red. But my bike is not. Interestingly, neither is my car. Perhaps this is a sign that my transportation does not follow my colour preferences and I am in fact capable of ‘mixing things up’. Anyway, luckily my bike is black which is my second colour choice in most things so really there isn’t an issue. But look at this:

Red Papillionaire bike

Made by Papillionaire

Don’t you just want to zoom around wearing a wonderful jacket, stockings and scarf with the wind in your hair, waving to everyone you pass? I do. Plus it is the greatest brand name ever – Papillionaire. Maybe I need two bikes…