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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Halloween Kitty, and inside a haunted French castle

 

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Halloween is sneaking in closely! It’s time to be thinking of scary pumpkin heads, witches on brooms, bats and other ghouls. Here is something fun and cute that I’ve made. Always a big fan of cat art, here’s my Halloween Kitty, framed in a box frame so that the shadows can be enjoyed.

This Halloween Kitty has been hand drawn and hand cut. Would you like to have this design, and cut it out yourself? Yes you can! This art is available as a template, all you need to do is take a print out, get ready with your scalpel and cut away! You too can put it in a shadow box, or just stick it to cardstock and give it to someone special on the day of Halloween! Here she is before I spray painted her black. Do you like it black or white?

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Look at this gorgeous castle below… It’s deserted for many years… Haunted? I think so!

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This is the second time I am entering a deserted premise by the way! And with all those overgrown weeds, I was very careful not to go stepping accidentally over ‘l’ortie’ ( stinging nettle in French)

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Such deserted castles or old monuments can be found plenty around France. My husband and I, while on a stroll, found this beauty somewhere around L’isle Adam, an elite French neighborhood, 30 kms north east of Paris.

Alas! The secrets of this castle are only enjoyed by squatters now..

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A piano that has seen much better days.

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I can imagine this foyer at one time a resplendant place, welcoming, warm, and people walking to and fro the different rooms.

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This staircase walked up and down by an absent minded homemaker, realizing too late that it’s raining and the windows upstairs need to be shut..

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Pitter-patter, pitter-patter go footsteps silently in the dead of night

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I hope you enjoy looking down staircases as much as I do..

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What is this cage like structure? A medieval torture device? Nooo…. Any guesses? It’s for holding wine bottles.

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Whew! Am I glad it’s a sunny day out! Shakes away some of the cobwebs in my head!

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Whoops, a skeleton car just pulls in!! Nah, just joking! This hilarious car advert is something I had seen at the Shiphol Airport in Amsterdam.

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Have you been totally spooked out by the haunted castle? If you want to read something similar, click here, of a trip into a haunted and deserted hotel I walked into, in Darjeeling, India.

Halloween Kitty up close to let you know how spooky things are going to get! 🙂

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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!

Vibrant Spring, and Tino, watercolour 3

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Though Spring arrives officially in France in a week’s time, it already feels a lot like Spring. The skies have been clear blue with the sun shining brightly now for many days in a row. For most of my life, before I settled in France, I never really paid attention to nature, or the flowers or vegetables that grow in particular seasons. I decided to pay a lot of attention to all the green things growing around me this year. I discovered daffodils are Spring flowers, and they will grow only for a month. I notice them growing everywhere. The first shoots of Spring are definitely the daffodils, daisies and pansies. I can tell because I see them growing by the sidewalks, in the forests, in gardens etc.

When I was in school, I remember I had to study Wordworth’s poem ‘The Daffodils’. He seemed so happy to be in the midst of daffodils and I always wondered how it must feel to see so many yellow and I guess, pretty flowers all around you (In India, I doubt daffodils are Spring flowers, and I was brought up in India). Here’s the first paragraph of the poem to get you jogging your memory if you had to study this poem too :

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

I made my watercolour inspired by the daffodils growing in profusion around my house. When I saw Tino, a white and grey cat, one day playing amongst the flowers it gave me the idea to get the drawing started. I am happy to note that I can see a slight improvement in my watercolour techniques compared to my previous two.

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Here’s Tino below, along with the daffodils and my pink watering can!

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Disdainful cats, watercolor 1

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My inspiration to draw these two cats with their funny expressions came from two cats in the neighborhood who can be seen often sitting close together on a window sill. They looked disdainful, I couldn’t figure out why. Either at being locked out of the house, or the fact that I dared to come in close enough to shoot them with my camera. Either way, they looked hilarious! 🙂

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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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