Happy Halloween!

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Happy Halloween!!! For all lovers of Halloween art, here’s a papercut I made about two years ago. A wizard with a telescope, some bats, pumpkins, this picture is screaming Halloween all over!  If you wish to see another of my Halloween papercut, click here .

The month of October is always about going into the forest and looking for beautiful and delicate mushrooms. I love the fallen leaves strewn all over the forest grounds, the red tinge everywhere you look, and peeking out of the nooks of the ground are mushrooms of all varieties.

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I think I could just weave a story out of this mushroom..

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These dainty mushrooms go very well with the majestic chatêau behind them. I know not any names of mushroom varieties, and I am quite aware of how dangerous it could get eating wild mushrooms so I leave the tasting to our little animal friends.

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Sadly, this year there has hardly been any mushrooms in the forest. I was so disappointed!! All of these pics have been taken by me last October. I truly hope to see them back again next year!

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In the meantime, kids came by all afternoon and evening trick or treating. My thoughtful husband had anticipated the visits and had a bag full of goodies ready on the table. The expression on my little one’s face staring at the girl is so priceless! 😉

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Actually, I am so glad that Halloween this year has kicked off so well here in France. I don’t think I have ever seen so many Halloween costumes being worn by kids or adults in any of the past years!

Here’s my magical young wizard boy, busy checking the constellations, peering into the Halloween of 2017..

If you like my art and want to support it, buy my art prints or templates at Etsy, or forward it to someone you think might enjoy it! Cheers!

 

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Red

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Here’s a little artwork I had made yesterday. It is my little tribute to the great movie director, Satyajit Ray who had his birthday on May the 2nd. He was born 1921, and he received an Oscar award for lifetime achievement. In this sketch, I have merged two of his best movies, Charulata and Mahanagar. Both have the actress Madhabi Mukherjee play a pivotal role. The dialogue is from Mahanagar, where Madhabi’s work colleague asks why she doesn’t use a red lipstick. The visual is from Charulata, where Madhabi plays a lonely housewife who entertains herself by uses her binoculars to spy at people down the street.

Woman obsessed with décor (and curtains)

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I thought of sharing this delightful carricature of a ‘Woman obsessed with home décor’, by the French illustrator Signé Benoit, whose works appear regularly in the magazine ‘Paris Match’. At first, the paintwork appears messy, but soon you notice the attention to details, and you can relate a lot to what the artist tries to portray.

My post is all to do with curtains, but while thinking about making this post, I was reminded of this carricature I found in the magazine, that I’d cut away in 2012. Some of the luxurious curtain drapes I have been checking out lately in the fabric markets of Paris, and all the wonderful ideas I could play around with them, reminded me of this woman so in bliss to be surrounded with opulent fabrics and other items of décor.

When my husband first proposed the idea that we buy the curtain fabric and I stitch them, I was absolutely in désaccord with him. The last time I touched my sewing machine was 10 months ago and that last time happened to be my first time too! I was presented with that machine by a benevolent family member who thought I could do more useful things with my craftiness. Here’s the end result of me slaving away on the machine just 4 days after we bought the fabric :

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Not too bad if I say so myself! As long as no one peeks on the other side of the curtains! My hands were clammy the entire while I was stitching them. Until they were put up on the rods, I had no idea if we’d wasted money on the drapes. It was of course the first time I was stitching curtains and I used the design from another existing curtain that we’d bought from Ikea a long time ago. Stitching this curtain opened my eyes to the world of curtains, the right fabrics, the different styles etc. Though a lot of mistakes have been made on this curtain (awry hems, no lining, base hem still not complete etc), I am confident I can do better next time around. Here’s a look at the fabric that we’d bought at my favourite store Marché St. Pierre in Montmartre, Paris :

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Here are some lovely curtain ideas I came across in a book :

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What can I do with my almost-drying-up paints in Kolkata?

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I decided to finally use my almost-dried paints to spruce up my balcony wall. Having moved into my new appartment in Kolkata, and having not really the time to concentrate on prettying up the place, the blank white washed walls were almost seeming a bit monotonous and depressing. So I decided to give the last lease of life to my acrylic paints!

First, I had to get the walls cleaned up. There is a lot of dust in Kolkata and each day the floors of the appartment have to be cleaned twice, once morning and then in the evening. The balcony walls were coated with white paint and a thick coating of dust on it along with cobwebs when we’d first moved in. I decided to scrub and clean every inch of the wall, and I was quite pleased with my efforts when the wall was gleaming white and shiny! 🙂

I created the templates first, by sketching butterfly figures on paper and tracing their outlines on the walls.

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The two helps I have, Shumi and Wangden, were looking at me curiously while I painted my butterflies. I wasn’t sure if they had ever vented their arty sides before, so I gladly gave them my brush and they got so involved in painting the butterflies that now this project is officially a joint venture between the three of us. In fact Shumi told me that she found painting the butterflies addictive. She couldn’t stop at just one but had to keep going. Wangden finished where Shumi left off to go finish her cooking.

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The plant standing tall in between the butterflies is a lovely flowering plant, the flowers are a deep shade of pink, and emit a strong wonderful scent. Unfortunately, the flowers are still tiny buds (I bought them 2 days ago!) so i have no photos, and as much as I tried to find their name in English, I couldn’t! So I have just to share with you the name I know in Bengali : Kobiraaj. I bought some more heavenly perfumed flowers, but they will have to be a story for another post! 🙂

Here’s a random mango tree I found on the road (and there are plenty of such trees in the city!). Check out the amazing number of mangoes growing on them!

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Snowing on the Champs – Elysées, and a trip to the Edward Hopper art axhibition

Yesterday, I went out with my husband in the evening to the Champs Elysées. He is a fan of the American artist Edward Hopper, and he did not want to miss out on his exhibition, on the Grand Palais. The Grand Palais is a beautiful, grand looking building on the Champs Elysées. What put us off though, was the long serpentine queue for the tickets. Moreover, the queue was in the open, shelterless! People were willing to stand for hours waiting for their tickets happily allowing the snow and rain to fall all around their heads and shoulders. I didn’t get it, I’m not sure if I’ve seen people allowing themselves to freeze to go see any exhibition until now! (by the way, we faced the same situation when there was a skating rink built in the Grand Palais. We had once attempted to get tickets for it, but we saw the queue outside, and it was as long as the queue outside of Louis Vuitton when there’s a sale. It was so long so long so loonngg….!!! Lots of people and their kids hardening themselves against the weather, controlling their urges to pee in such icy winds). But I was also impressed. People can take such pains to enlighten themselves on matters of high art and culture. I liked that attitude.

We waited for about an hour and half. I was well protected with my thick overcoat, with triple sweaters inside and sufficient head protection, thick boots and gloves. Unfortunately many of the folks around us seemed unprepared for the cold and by the time my husband and I entered inside the exhibition center, I saw people around me with hair glistening with melted snow and thoroughly wet. I felt bad especially for the scores of elderly citizen who had braved to come watch the exhibit. It’s surprising that shelters had not been constructed for the queues!

Edward Hopper publicity poster outside of the Grand Palais

Edward Hopper publicity poster outside of the Grand Palais

The queue waiting outside in the snow

The queue waiting outside in the snow

The first painting of E. H. that got sold. It's a famous painting

The first painting of E. H. that got sold. It’s a famous painting

A super duper famous painting of EH.

A super duper famous painting of EH.

After the exhibit, hubby and I had to walk all along Champs Elysées to get to where our car was parked. The ground was slippery and poor him fell quite a few times, and one time he landed badly on his back. The normally speeding cars on the CE were driving slow and with caution, which was good to see for a change.

The worst snowfall that Paris has faced this winter. It was a veritable blizzard

The worst snowfall that Paris has faced this winter. It was a veritable blizzard

Along the Champs Elysées

Along the Champs Elysées

A bistro on the side walks along the Champs Elysées

A bistro on the side walks along the Champs Elysées

The creativity that some people possess, to showcase it on other people's cars! :)

The creativity that some people have, to showcase it on other people’s cars! 🙂