Monday, February 28, 2011

La Vie en Rose

I love pink.  For me it's also a state of mind;  partially bright, partially faded, partially sweet and partially sad. Makes me think of the song...

Comme la chançon, "Quand tu me prends dans tes vois la vie en rose..."

I think this one looks alot better unscanned...the pink tear doesn't show up as well here.  I did this in a large sketchbook in mostly watercolor.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

French Historicals Art Journaling...

Remember that art journal challenge created by Roberta at Con-tain-it? I was supposed to work on this for my French Historicals Challenge...but it took me awhile. I didn't get to journal ALL my French readings unfortunately. A lot of my favourite books and authors from the Challenge are missing- and I wish I could have journaled them all.  But! I did manage to do some.  If you want to take a look, please come check it out at my other cozy place...

Front cover...

The cover is made of toile de jouy, which I painted, stitched and bordered with crochet.

An Art Journal for my Book Reviews...

In 2010 I started a French Historical reading challenge over at my other blog: Enchanted by Josephine.  Consequently, one of my good blogger friends, Roberta, over at Con-tain-it started an art journal for book reviews.  So, one thing lead to the next and I started drawing and writing about the books I read based on French history.  I only managed to journal on 7 books - so if you  notice that I haven't journaled about the other great books I read it wasn't because I liked them less; it's the time that's lacking! 

So here is some of what I got down on paper...I loved doing this and so wished I had had the time to make moreso that I could include more of my favourite French historicals .  Thanks Roberta for this wonderful idea. I'll post more if I add some others.

I used mixed media:  acrylic paints, water colours, ink, gel, collage, marker, colored pencils, fabric...

The cover is made of toile de jouy, which I painted, stitched and bordered with crochet.

This first page is for Elena MariaVidal's The Night's dark Shade- loved her book about the Cathars (my review here)

This Heyer read was hillarious! (my review here)

 My absolute favourite new author for historical fiction, Christine Trent wrote The Queen's Dollmaker- loved it too (my review here)

Another one by Georgette Heyer (my review here)

What's not to love about an Elizabeth Chadwick novel?! (my review here)

A very different read indeed! Watermark, by Vanitha Sankaran (my review here)

A book that reads like a painting itself- a true landscape of colours for the literary: Claude and Camille, by Stephanie Cowell  (my review here)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Giveaway WINNER Announced!

The WINNER of:

Courtesy of SOURCEBOOKS is....

Michelle of The True Book Addict!!!!

Michelle, please email me your contact info.  CONGRATULATIONS!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Book Review: A ROYAL LIKENESS, by Christine Trent

Christine Trent has done it again!
She has written a delicious novel based on a fictional heroine whose life runs parallel to a real historical figure, in a real historical timeframe while using real historical facts. Not only that, once again like in her first novel, The Queen's Dollmaker,  I was highly entertained by this no-nonsense heroine.  In “A Royal Likeness”, Marguerite, is a gutsy, creative and talented lady with a thirst for adventure and curiosity to no end (Just love reading about these kinds of women).
Many of you will remember Marguerite as Claudette's niece  in Trent’s first novel, The Queen's Dollmaker. In this subsequent novel, Marguerite has now taken over the doll making business.  After a horrible tragedy (I won’t spoil it for you), Marguerite moves on to work for Madame Tussaud- Yes! The very own Madame Tussaud (who also happened to be a good friend of her aunt, Claudette, during the time of Marie-Antoinette- Read my review of the Queen’s Dollmaker here;)  There, she learns the art of making figures out of wax. But there is sooo much more to the story...
Throughout the book we meet several royal personages; we get a glimpse of Tussaud’s life and history; there’s an important historical battle; life on a war ship; mystery, tragedy, and, of!
I found this book to be very entertaining with the right dose of history meshed in to keep pace with the time period; hence giving it the feeling it could have actually happened for real.  I find this author’s technique of paralleling her main heroine to history and historical figures without sacrificing the story she wants to write, especially refreshing.
 There are already innumerable books out there rehashing history with an interesting twist of fiction that are wonderful to read (hence our love for Historical fiction!)...Yet, Christine Trent stands out from the rest by crafting in her own style; one which hooks historical buffs by sustaining us with just enough historical immersion within the plot while fulfilling us with her own great story.  Bravo to this creative author with a deliciously original edge!
Christine Trent has definitely made her mark- In my opinion; I dare nickname her a modern-day Heyer!
 I Loved this book!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Reminiscing Verona on Valentine's Day...

Happy Valentine's Day! 

On this day of love, I can't help but think of Romeo and Giulietta..and Verona, of course!

Was just there this past summer- and have taken some pictures there...but due to so many constraints, I've just never had the time to post any of them.  So, today seems like the perfect day for reminiscing about love in the city of the world-famous lovers...Verona! I had a wonderful time going through the tiny streets of Verona and getting a glimpse of what it might have been like.

the place hasn't changed much from when I visited regularly during my childhood days (except it's way more crowded!) Giulietta's house is kept quite well, and although there's not much left to see of what's inside the house, here are a few of the shots I was able to take (as you'll note; not much to say about my photography skills...but hey! It's the memory that counts!)

The stairwell from Giulietta's room

Juliet's bed

The fireplace...

Behind the courtyard (the other side..)

Yours truly on the famous balcony

The court yard (it actually cleared up after 6 pm)

Some Shakespeare on the wall...

A sign in front of Romeo's house

Romeo's place...

Another angle of Romeo's place...

I will be posting more pictures soon of the  families' place of  "villeggiatura" or : vacation place...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Very Timely GIVEAWAY...

How timely that I am right into reading of Lucrezia Borgia...and should now post a GIVEAWAY- Thanks to the Fabulous Sourcebooks!

Enter my 1 Copy Giveaway on one of history's most intriguingly decadent family:

You must be a follower of my blog to enter

Post your comment and email address.   EXTRA Entry Chance Every time you post on your Blog, FB or Twitter (and send me the link in the comment).

******Winner Announced on Feb. 21st*******


Good Luck!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Princess of my Heart...

 It's been awhile since I've posted anything art-related...but I think I can finally spend more time here and sure hope to be posting more regularly...

 My thoughts for today...

Princesses come in all shapes and sizes...their worth should be measured by the size of their heart, the gentleness of their soul and the strength in their courage. This one is for my own very brave princess...

Pour toi ma gentille princesse, si douce et si forte..tu y arriveras- c'est promis.  Maman t'adore.

Non ti dimenticare che non sarai mai sola. Sei forte e sei amata.