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Elephants in a 13th-century manuscript. THE BRITISH LIBRARY/ROYAL 12 F XIII

The animals in the image above are elephants. They were drawn sometime around the 13th or 14th century in a medieval bestiary, a type of book that described animals large and small, real and fantastic. But to a modern eye, the line between the real and the imagined is…

Source: Why Did Medieval Artists Give Elephants Trunks That Look Like Trumpets? | Atlas Obscura

Today is the 176th birthday of the artist Claude Monet. We know his work and I can speak only for myself of not knowing his whole life story. The world is a better place because he was in it and st…

Source: Happy 176th Birthday Claude Monet – Waldina

With thanks to Olga for posting the link on Facebook and to James Osborne for writing it.

Special thanks to CBC Radio for an interview that resurrected this little-known story about the origins of Winnie-the-Pooh. Here’s a summary.    Winnie-the-Pooh was born in Canada! Well, sort of. I…

Source: Winnie-the-Pooh: The Forgotten Connection | jamesosbornenovels

Take care and keep laughing!


I can’t quite believe it. I posted Made for Walking yesterday morning and by midday I’d sold a Redbubble scarf!

Made for Walking © Sarah Vernon Scarves @ RedbubbleMade for Walking Scarves © Sarah Vernon @ Redbubble

Have a beautiful Tuesday!

Take care and keep laughing!


“The stiletto is a feminine weapon that men just don’t have.”
Christian Louboutin

Made for Walking © Sarah Vernon Scarves @ RedbubbleMade for Walking Scarves © Sarah Vernon @ Redbubble

“What do women want? Shoes.”
Mimi Pond

“Shit happens. Doesn’t mean you have to step in it. But if you do I would buy a new pair of shoes.”
Kilburn Hall

“Don’t judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.” Native American saying

Available at the following galleries:
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America [14 fulfillment centers in 5 countries]
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!


Caravaggio, Judith Beheading Holofernes (circa 1598-1599). Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The long-lost second version of Caravaggio’s “Judith Beheading Holofernes” might have emerged in a private collection in France. But is it the real deal?

Source: Long-Lost Caravaggio Possibly Found in France – artnet News

Colette, 1900s via

Source: Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1900s)

This is an extremely early piece when I was only just beginning to realise what textures could do for a photograph. The windmill, from Wikimedia, is on the Île de Noirmoutier, an island that lies off the coast of France, and I used a filter from Snap Art, one of my background textures, and one from Skeletal Mess.

Windmill or no windmill, he said, life would go on as it had always gone on–that is, badly. Animal Farm by George Orwell

The Windmill 3 Ring Binder
The Windmill 3 Ring Binder

The Windmill Pack Of Standard Business Cards
The Windmill Pack Of Standard Business CardsThe Windmill Postage
The Windmill Postage

Available at the following galleries:
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America
Fine Art England
Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!



Luxembourg Gardens. Monument to Chopin by Henri Rousseau

Did you know that the self-taught artist Henri Rousseau never left France and thus never saw a real jungle? No, neither did I.

‘For many years derided as a wacky amateur, Rousseau made his debut at the Salon des Indépendants with his work Carnival Evening (1886), a surprising start to his future career as an artist.’ ArtLark

La muse inspirant le poète

La muse inspirant le poète

‘Rousseau will never be remembered for exceptional talent or skill, yet his wild imagination gave birth to wonderfully individual images which can instantly be associated with his name – a name which he signed with large, awkward letters at the corner of each painting.’ ArtLark

La Charmeuse de serpents

La Charmeuse de serpents

Take care and keep laughing!


Happy Boxing Day!

Life on La Lune

A very Happy Christmas to all my readers

Mistletoe - abundant in our area Mistletoe – abundant in our area

Here’s something to stretch your brain cells once you’ve stretched your waistbands: the annual Life on La Lune Christmas Quiz. Twenty questions about French history, literature, gastronomy, language, etc. with multiple choice answers.

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Captain Norman Austin Taylor © Sarah Vernon

‘Five foot ten of a beautiful young Englishman under French soil. Never a joke, never a look, never a word more to add to my store of memories. The book is shut up forever and as the years pass I shall remember less and less, till he becomes a vague personality; a stereotyped photograph.’

Poor Norman.

Such a commonplace death.  Shot by a single sniper. Youngest child, only son.  Three sisters and a father left to grieve along with so many other fathers, mothers, sisters…

Continue reading: Great Uncle Norman: ‘shot by a single sniper’ | First Night Design.

This charming curiosity dates from 1882 and is the work of French illustrator, Albert Robida (1848-1926).  I could not resist the idea of selling it in my vintage store and downloaded it from The Library of Congress.

There was a crease down the middle with a tear at the bottom, which I restored.

Albert Robida (1848-1926)

Albert Robida (1848-1926)

‘A print from around 1882 depicting a futuristic view of air travel over Paris as people leave the opera. Many types of aircraft are shown including flying buses, limousines and, what are presumably, police vehicles. On the latter are mounted strangely un-futuristic sword-carrying officers that wouldn’t seem out-of-place on the Opera’s stage itself. As far as the get-up of the normal opera-going folk, things don’t seem to have progressed too radically, though many of the men seem to be sporting the same bizarre military-esque hat. To the left of the scene, amongst the flying vehicles, we can see a restaurant, which like the Opera building itself, is elevated to an enormous height above the vaguely discernible city below. In the distance we can make out the Eiffel Tower, which seems to have some enormous structure emerging from its top about which buzz more flying vehicles. One other interesting thing to note is that women can be seen driving their own aircraft.

The print is the creation of the French illustrator, etcher, lithographer, caricaturist, novelist, and all around futurologist, Albert Robida. Editor and publisher of La Caricature magazine for 12 years, Robida also wrote an acclaimed trilogy of futuristic novels imagining what life would be like in the 20th century. He foretells many inventions in his writings, including the “Téléphonoscope”: a flat screen television display that delivered the latest news 24-hours a day, the latest plays, courses, and teleconferences.’

via The Public Domain

Take care and keep laughing!


The Genealogy of Style

Le Peintre de Tournesols

In November 1888, Paul Gauguin painted Vincent van Gogh in The Painter of Sunflowers (Le Peintre de Tournesol). The two had been living together in a yellow house in the small town of Arles in southern France. Van Gogh, who had arrived in Arles first, painted a series of sunflowers to decorate the guest room in anticipation of Gauguin joining him. When Gauguin did arrive, he did indeed enjoy the paintings. After the two had parted ways, Gauguin wrote to Vincent requesting that he may keep one of the paintings, calling them a “perfect page of an essential ‘Vincent’ style.”

Being a portrait, it is a representation of a man in a specific time. By late November, tension was starting to develop between Gauguin and van Gogh. Two strong personalities living in such close quarters was taking its toll. Vincent especially was working at…

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One this day in 1839, the Post-Impressionist artist Paul Cézanne was born. To celebrate the event, I have started selling prints and greeting cards of his Still Life with Apples and a Pot of Primroses

Still Life with Apples and a Pot of Primroses is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is one of only two works in which the artist painted  primroses. The other, Pot of Primroses and Fruit, can be seen at the Courtauld Gallery in London.

Take care and keep laughing!


The Divine Sarah © First Night Vintage

The Divine Sarah © First Night Vintage

“Life begets life. Energy creates energy.  It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.”

Throughout last week, I could be seen glued to the front door waiting for a small packet of vintage postcards from my favourite shop in Berlin, Bartko-Reher-OHG, to be pushed through the letterbox and land with a soft thud onto the doormat.  On Friday, it arrived and I couldn’t have been  happier for among the postcards I had bought was this beauty of The Divine Sarah, Sarah Bernhardt, the great French stage actress who lived long enough to appear in some very early silent films (see below).

Yes, ’tis she of the wooden leg who, in a great example of cross-gender casting, played Hamlet, wooden leg an’ all; she who used a coffin as a bed; she who was described as a notorious liar by  Alexandre Dumas, fils and who was once sacked from the Comédie-Française for slapping another actress round the face. She was also said to have had an affair with the Prince of Wales (Edward VII).

Sarah Bernhardt in Queen Elizabeth (1912)

I have no idea of the date of the photograph but it’s clear that my namesake was young at the time.  Since she was born in 1844, I don’t think I would be far wrong if I said it was taken in the late-1860s or early ’70s. Whether it was for a production or simply Mademoiselle Bernhardt at home is a tough call. To our modern eyes, she looks to be ‘in costume’ but that would be to forget that this was how those with money and a healthy social life dressed at the time.  If anyone can shed any light, please comment below as I would love to know more.

Sarah Bernhardt in Daniel (1921)

When I was young and fell in love with the theatre, I wanted to be the late-20th century equivalent of Ellen Terry, to whom I bear a slight resemblance when in profile. Short of that, it was going to be a British version of The Divine Sarah.  As it is, I have to be content with selling their charms!

Take care and keep laughing!


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