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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

You might remember I have blogged before about Joules – my favourite UK clothing retailer.  You might also remember that I blogged about not being able to get away with wearing much of the Joules fashion here in Australia, as it is so quintessentially English!  Case in point –

But, check out these pretties – ARMWARMERS!!  I think these Armwarmers are awesome fun – apart from the fact that there is no need for them here during an Australian summer … but they make the best Christmas present for those who are lucky enough to experience a white Christmas!


My favourite of the Joules range are their Polo t-shirts.  The new collection is out now, so the question is – which to choose?

Photos & links from Joules Clothing

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Picasso problemo!

Just had to share this one with you -

A French couple have come forward with 271 works by Pablo Picasso.

A retired French electrician and his wife have come forward with 271 undocumented, never-before-seen works by Pablo Picasso estimated to be worth at least 60 million euro ($A82.79 million), an administrator of the artist's estate said on Monday.  The electrician, who once worked for Picasso, and his wife for years squirreled away the staggering trove - which is believed to be authentic - inside a trunk in the garage of their home on the French Riviera.

The cache, dating from the artist's most creative period from 1900 to 1932, includes lithographs, portraits, watercolours, and sketches - plus nine Cubist collages said to be worth 40 million ($A55.2 million) alone, according to French daily Liberation, which first reported the discovery on Monday.

Pierre Le Guennec, a 71-year-old former electrician, and his wife showed many of the works to Picasso's son Claude and other estate administrators in Paris in September, seeking to have the works authenticated, Picasso Administration lawyer Jean-Jacques Neuer.  Shortly after that meeting, Neuer filed suit on behalf of Picasso's heirs for alleged illegal receipt of the works. Police investigators are looking into how Le Guennec and his wife, Danielle, came by the pictures.  "This was a gift," Danielle Le Guennec told The Associated Press by phone from their home in the town of Mouans-Sartoux, near the tourist Riviera hotspot of Antibes. "We aren't thieves. We didn't do anything wrong."  The works, which were kept in a trunk, didn't appear to be much to her untrained eye, she said: "But even if this was a little jot of the pencil, it did come from the master."

Claude Picasso, quoted in Liberation, noted that his father was known for his generosity - but that he always dedicated, dated and signed his gifts, as he knew that some recipients might try to sell the works one day.  "To give away such a large quantity, that's unheard-of. It doesn't hold water," Claude Picasso was quoted in Liberation as saying. "This was part of his life."

Danielle Le Guennec said the couple didn't intend to sell the art. She also said the couple decided to come forward with the works this year because they were getting on in years, and "didn't want to leave any headaches to our children" with their own estate.

Aren’t these comments at odds with one another? You decide …

Also, I love the idea of these two "squirreling" away the artworks for years.  They knew they were on a good wicket ... !

Credits to NineMSN journalist Jamey Keaten for the story.  View the full story here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like ...

The official lighting ceremony of holiday decorations along the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris took place on the evening of 22 November.   The Avenue is now awash with Christmas lights and flashing LED lights have been hung on the trees to create a "snowflake" effect.

French actress Mélanie Laurent (Inglorious Basterds) was this year's guest to illuminate the Champs-Elysées.  She was accompanied by Bertrand Delanoë, the Mayor of Paris.

So pretty!  (And, wish I was there ...)

Photos courtesy of

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Burberry Burger anyone?

Today, I stumbled across the wonderfully fresh blog “Eat Drink Chic”.  Although I am obviously a little behind the times with this blog caper, I just had to share with you her post of 29 January 2010 titled “McFancy”.

In her post, Amy Moss writes “Last year I was approached by The Cool Hunter to style some photos for a pitch to McDonald’s for an upmarket pop-up restaurant for fashion week.  The concept was to give McDonald’s food a complete makeover and re-brand the fast food giant with an aesthetic suitable for a 5 star restaurant.”  Read more about it here.

And the results …

Gucci fry, anyone? 

How fun!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Serge Bastarde - Brocanteur

Read this book! A hilarious account of the popular trading of French (and some not-so-French) antiques in France -

Serge Bastarde Ate My Baguette - On the Road in the Real Rural France

'I found Serge's advice mostly useful and it would have been churlish to have refused his invitation to accompany him on a trip out in the country to 'forage for hidden treasures'. If the truth be known, I secretly couldn't resist the novelty of passing time with a bloke called Serge Bastarde'.

"When ex-blues drummer John Dummer decamps to France to start up as an antiques dealer and live the simple life, he doesn't count on meeting Serge Bastarde. The lovable (if improbably named) rogue and brocanteur offers to teach John the tricks of the trade in return for his help in a series of breathtakingly unscrupulous schemes. As the pair trawl through antiques markets and old farmhouses looking for hidden treasure, they get into more than their fair share of scrapes: whether they're conning hearty lunches from unsuspecting old peasants, secretly manufacturing priceless collectibles or losing a Stradivarius to gypsies. A hilarious romp through the real rural France, filled with eccentric characters, high jinks and unlikely adventures."

Ironically, having just finished the book, I stumbled across the wonderful website "My French Country Brocante" which gives francophiles like me who live so far from France an opportunity to flex the credit card muscles and deck out their own little French Country Homes.

An expensive hobby yes, but so worth it! (I tend to say that phrase a lot in my posts ...!)

Monday, November 8, 2010


As you can probably glean from previous posts, I have a little obsession.

I am a little obsessed with the Eiffel Tower.

Particularly when it's sparkly.

It is only a little obsession.

Really (!)

Photos are my own.

Monday, November 1, 2010


OK, I know this is my second post in a row about alcohol, but hey, it appeals to the majority!

The team at Absolut Vodka Advertising must be congratulated.
Absolut advertisements have always caught my eye for their wit and ingenuity. Particularly appealing in the above sample is the Paris advert in the bottom right-hand corner!

Here’s a further sample –

However, Absolut not only must be congratulated for their 2-D advertisement efforts, but also for their 3-D. I have noticed many a limited edition bottle of Absolut in my time and am usually able to resist.

On the way home from my recent trip abroad, I was easily sucked in at the Duty Free counter by one of Absolut’s cunning advertising ploys. Being female, into bling and other fine things (aka “easy target”), I delighted in purchasing a bottle of bling bling Absolut (above). However, the fun really started once I got home – the gold “bottle” is actually casing around a standard bottle of Absolut, and trying to open same makes all of those physics lessons at school worthwhile.

Although not an exhaustive list, Absolut limited edition designs include:-





and currently on the shelf (well, in Australia anyway), Glimmer.

The best thing about these little beauties – the limited edition Absolut bottles do not exceed the price of the standard bottle. They’re just a bit more fancy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ice, Ice, Baby

Check out this new kid on the block. Moët and Chandon recently launched their first and only vintage ice champagne, Moët and Chandon Ice Impérial. I was lucky enough to stumble across it when holidaying recently in Los Angeles at the Tropicana Bar at The Hotel Roosevelt.

A champagne that is supposed to be consumed on the rocks? Don’t panic! The idea of drinking Champagne on the rocks is a practice that is common in Europe and the Mediterranean. The French even have a word for it, piscine, which roughly translates to the idea of plunging into a pool.

For the first time ever though, this champagne is especially formulated to be exclusively served over ice as a cocktail – “With Ice Moët Impérial, Moët & Chandon creates new opportunity to drink Champagne", says Moët & Chandon Chef de Cave, Benoit Gouez.

The fabulously presented white and gold bottle contains a blend of pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay, and has notes of tropical fruits, sweet spices like licorice, red fruits and peppermint.

However, there’s a little downside. Moët and Chandon Ice Impérial is not available for purchase on the open market. It will only be served in selected exclusive sunny resort destinations such as Biarritz, St Tropez, Rio, Bora Bora, The Maldives, Cabo San Lucas, Miami and Los Angeles. Santé!

Monday, October 18, 2010

More Macaroons ... Swoon!

I have blogged about macaroons before, about those made by Ladurée the famous French brand everyone is familiar with. But gorge your senses on these little pretties from Theurel & Thomas, the “first patisserie in Mexico” to specialize in French macaroons. Yes, Mexico.

Theurel & Thomas have recently undergone a re-banding by Mexican design agency Anagrama who redesigned their store in San Pedro, Mexico. The results are visually stunning.

“For this project it was very important to create an imposing brand that would emphasize the unique value, elegance and detail of this delicate dessert.

White was our primary tool for design. As a result of this the attention was fully oriented to the colorful macaroons. We placed two lines in our design in cyan and magenta, as a relation with a modern French flag to inject a vanguard vision to the identity. We selected Didot (created by Firmin and Pierre Didot), a French typography that would present the brand with sophistication”

Images via Theurel & Thomas and Anagrama.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Je suis en vacances!

Hi everyone,

I am on holiday for about 1 month, so will not be posting. Will ensure I blog with gusto when I return.

And no, unfortunately I'm not off to France ... but somewhere hopefully equally as exciting.

M -x-

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cop an Eiffel

I thought I would treat myself, being my last day in Paris and all, with lunch up the Eiffel Tower. But I was sorely disappointed ...

1. Order
2. Take buzzer
3. Wait for buzzer to buzz
4. Take a wire basket
5. Collect meal, each course packaged in a separate container
6. Take basket back to your table and hope no one has stolen your prime position at the window.

(The only redeeming feature of service is that your wine is poured at your own table.)

By now you're probably wondering what I ordered:

Soupe à L'oignon Gratinée?
Boeuf Bourguignon?
Crème brûlée?

No. (Remember I said sorely disappointed?)

No French fare ... a Cheeseburger and strawberry cheesecake were the pick of the bunch.

It was about now I found out the fine dining restaurant, Le Jules Verne, was closed for renovations. Oh well, there's always next time.

Lucky the views are worth it ...

Photos are my own.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How to draw the Eiffel Tower

How fun is this – Learn how to draw the Eiffel Tower!! One of my friends emailed me this to me earlier in the week (yes, she still loves me even though knows of my all-things-French obsession).

The printable version can be found here, where you are given a step-by-step drawing demonstration including a nifty colour code – “Follow the red lines in each illustration to learn exactly what to draw in that step. The lines drawn in previous steps are shown in gray.”

Give it a go!

1. Draw a Triangle
Draw a large triangle and split it in two vertically with another line. Add a long horizontal line near the bottom of the triangle for the ground.

2. Lines and Rectangles
Draw three sets of horizontal lines as shown. Add a small arch near the top of the triangle. Shape the tower with three sets of slightly angled lines. Add a set of vertical lines to both of the lower horizontal tiers to create rectangles.

3. Connect the Lines
Draw two vertical lines under the arch. Connect them at the top with a horizontal line. Add a second line to each of the slightly bent lines as shown. Draw an upside-down Y in the top tier with double lines. Divide the rectangle near the center of the tower with a double horizontal line and a single horizontal line.

Connect the upper double horizontal line to the line above it with an angled line. Add two short vertical lines to the single horizontal lines to connect them to the lines below. Continue double lines below the second horizontal tier. Draw double angled lines below the third horizontal tier. Use curly lines to add shrubs.

4. Supports
Draw many sets of double horizontal lines for the supports. Add several diagonal lines below the upper part of the tower. Detail the two lowest rectangles with short double horizontal lines. Outline the lowest rectangle. Add more shrubs with curly lines.

5. Details
Draw double X-shaped figures in all the rectangles created by the previous step. Shade the horizontal tiers with diagonal lines. Add double bent lines to the curve at the bottom of the tower and to the area above it.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Le Mont St Michel

One of the most intruiging places on earth and also one of the most photographed, Le Mont St Michel rises into view across surrounding paddocks. Accessed by a causeway only at low tide, the Mont is home of approximately 40 inhabitants and visited by millions of tourists.

The abbey at the top of the mount is well worth the hike, especially so considering the monks who built it (starting in the 8th century) also had to contend with the fickle tides.

But, don't forget to check out the shops and restaurants along the way on both sides of the narrow steep alleys on the way up to the Abbey!

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