THE WRITING ON THE WALL

It has been what? – one week into December, and Christmas already is so close. Should you need to know… Christmas began early for me, this year; it has been feeling like the festive season from November onwards (never mind that the Christmas spirit has momentarily abandoned me now that December is actually here but oh, well).

And oh, hello to you too. (Explaining more, below.)

#FacesintheTwitteringCrowd

This is a project inspired by the #visiblewomen I know on and off the interwebz. I titled it so because I figured that some of you enjoy your online presence (thanks, social media platforms) and perhaps might like to have an illustrated profile of yourself for personal or professional use. (If not for yourself, you could perhaps ‘gift’ this wee, intangible summat to someone you reeeeeally like/love; heh, you know ’cause… Christmas.) Personally, this project is for me to: hone my craft; make money (being a freelancer and lover of learning has its perils); and make a fun project out of.

Basically, I can render an illustrative likeness of yourself in the form of a JPEG/PNG illustration (I will even make a portrait of your prized pet, should you like); this, I will base on a photograph of yours (preferably vertical) and 3-6 questions that I would be asking you (your most worn colours/motifs etc.). To get ideas on how your likeness might be rendered, please see the poster I made for this series or check out the women I drew back in March-April of this year, etc. (The pricing details are in the poster; payments can be made to me – electronically and I make and deliver the illustration to your Inbox in 3-6 working days.)

Thank you for hearing me out! – This is something new I am trying and should you like my work and are keen to do business with me, I would be pleased to hear from you (by way of a comment or an e-mail).

P.S. The one-off chance that you are new here or have come upon this solitary post, an introduction might not be out of order. My name is Roanna Fernandes; I am a features writer and illustrator who lives in Bombay. I have had this blog for about seven years now; it has served me well as a platform to express myself, artistically  and gotten me a few illustrative assignments, etc.  Uh-huh, here’s the ‘however’: I have been harbouring doubts/thoughts about why this space continues to exist. After months of staying away though, I found myself back in the place where it all began yet I feel a lightness of brain. (At this point, my brain interjects with, “A feeble yay is better than none in the head.” Gee, thanks, Brainah, what would I do without you?  That more than you needed to know?

***********

Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

Advertisements

BENEATH A DESERT MOON

¡Hola, mis amigos! (I don’t always greet y’all, maybe I should? I just get into the thick and thin of it and that’s kinda rude, innit? I mean, I care because you’re reading which is really sweet because it’s me, and you know, you’re still here – you guys make up a handful, and you make me happy.)

Because I was so incognito back then, you would’ve missed this – this year, I created/made up themes for every couple of months in the year (I divided my year into four parts, and not quarters). Each period was to tell a story by way of the content I would be covering and sharing on my blog etc. Except you know that it didn’t work out that way, I wasn’t actively working on any material; the ideas, of course, piled on and on and you know what went down. Nothing!

SO. What the illustration for this post is meant to be is an introduction to the story I wished to tell during the months of May, June and July called…

The Song of the Seamstress

As one could tell, the drawings are inspired by Mexico (a country I have never been to – but am really keen on visiting, soon) – the colours and clothing; some desert cactuses; the marigolds and roses; the ofrendas and sugar skulls etc.  The Song of the Seamstress also drew colourful and cultural inspirations from: cameo pendants; dulce de leche; floral embroidery; Frida Kahlo; la combinación de naranja y rosa; Lisbon (I really like this city; it’s colourful and so very warm – it makes me think of Cuba, Goa and Mexico, all at once!); Mother Mary; Pablo Neruda; ruffled clothing; the Día de los Muertos festival; Ugly Betty etc.

P.S. (Would you get a better idea if you saw this? It forms the display picture and cover photo for when I did publish this theme on Facebook and Twitter etc.) – This might be continued in the posts that are to come but it’s also December and so, I will be covering some other *fun* material (I haz ideas)! We’ll see.

***********

Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

MORINGA GLORY

Ta-da, here it is!

Don’t know if I have said this on the blog before, but I love The Body Shop – it is one of the few bath and beauty brands I buy from, constantly. Perhaps not as often as I used to; stuff’s expensive, and it’s harder still, when your sources of income aren’t guaranteed or stable – no more. – Every once in a while, when I do visit the store – it is because I want to restock on a product or two, etc. Anyway, I chanced upon this particular fragrance, last year at the outlet which is at the domestic airport and haven’t looked back, since.

Light, lovely and summery as this fragrance is – I knew nothing about it when I picked it up. – At the time I bought it, I was on my way to a friend’s wedding in Goa, and hadn’t carried any perfume. (Chunky bottles are difficult to cart around and/or pack, and I prefer not to because what if the bottle breaks?) So I stopped by The Body Shop to get an inexpensive bottle of ‘body mist’ or perfume. As it were, I decided against getting the Shea fragrance (I had tried it before, it isn’t the greatest) – Vanilla would’ve been too sweet (though I usually like the smell of vanilla) and then, my eyes fell on the little Moringa bottle and I was, like, “Hey, let’s get this.”

The funny thing is I didn’t quite bother taking a great, big sniff or even spritz it on and let the fragrance envelope me – well, enough to linger, etc. as I usually would’ve done. Yeah, okay, it’s just a small bottle of EDT but still! That was a first for me. (It wasn’t totally cheap, anyway.) And well, as soon as my holiday began and I sprayed it almost everyday, I was slowly realising that I bought something good. It turned out to be really mellow. All the things I said before, and then some (faintly floral, also; I was worried Moringa would smell like jasmine but as it turns out, I know zilch about flowers!). Mildly-fresh and pleasant, it is unlike any other fragrance I have ever had or liked (so I think). The bottle is travel-friendly; if you’re the type that flutters from fragrance to fragrance, the quantity is just about right, too.

What I don’t dig is the price for the quantity being sold (Rs. 895 for 30 ml is not cheap); I think it is Rs. 925, now? (On a sultry day, you might have to give yourself a spritz every couple of hours.) From then to now, I have only used two bottles of the stuff (toldja, been watching my finances). If my income was stable, I’d be buying this pretty often, it’s handy to have on you.

{ Rating – 7.8 / 10 }

***********

Artwork and picture by Roanna Fernandes

Black Coffee

239 Black Coffee

Well, the origin of this post can be attributed to the Persepolis movie (I watched it, last month), and there was a scene (or two) where these patterned cups make an appearance. They’re simple to draw, but for me, it’s much too exciting because of late, I’ve developed a mild obsession for collecting dainty cups that one may drink their coffee in. (Other than my usual ramblings, I had a crazy but very COOL idea about what I should make the rest of this post about… A few poetic lines on my favourite coffee shops in Bombay, hooray! Ooh, alphabetically haan.)

Café Zoe

I don’t go there often because it’s far from the homeland, and is expensive. But the few times I have been there, I enjoy catching up with folks over coffee (and sometimes, Zoe’s seared chicken legs if I’m really, terribly, achingly hungry. Goooood!)… A great place for people who like their space, even while being on separate tables – the place is like a house. A cool house!

Candies

This place will never lose its charm, in my opinion because when I lived in Bandra, Candies used to be our (ex-roommates) favourite and only haunt. The Americano there, too is made just the way I like my black coffee!

Chai Coffi

Discovered this place ages ago, all thanks to Minila (Louisa)… We went there sometime ago, and had a ball chatting and stuffing our faces… I think we should go back, soon!

Costa Coffee

Their double chocolate chip muffins are LOVE! Apart from that, I went there a lot when I used to work at Matunga (and later, Bandra)…

Gloria Jean’s Coffees

Ah! I miss the one that used to be at a corner between Manuel Gonsalves Road and Waterfield Road in Bandra… We (ex-roommates) used to go there all the time. Our Central Perk minus Gunther! Also, the coffees were top-notch. (Used to go there between 2008 and 2012.)

Indigo Delicatessen

Though I have gone there before a couple of times just for the food (the one at the Palladium mall), I think it was sometime around last year when I re-discovered it as a coffee shop with Zainab (Badani). There’s a favourite table I usually always sit at, when I go there; and the salmon bagel with cream cheese paired with an Americano (or a single order of their Vietnamese iced coffee) is perfect! Not a bad place to sit by yourself, and a good place for a date.

Le15 – pâtisserie

Erm, so I haven’t actually been here! (The one that opened at Lokhandwala.) But it’s Pooja Dhingra! Who gets the concept of macarons, coffee shops, and Parisian places… I have heard that this outlet serves hot beverages including coffee from Blue Tokai (apart from desserts) and well, is also slightly bigger than the Bandra shop (been here) so you can probably sit down and enjoy your order. CANNOT WAIT TO GO! (Going to get Nina to come with, since she lives so close by.)

Le Pain Quotidien

One of the places I reviewed for burrp! way back in 2011… This is the Le Pain Quotidien at Apollo Bunder (Colaba). Their interiors are very French, spacious, non-intrusive and is another place you can sit by yourself and read, or draw in your journal, whatever. And while it’s always filled with folks, nobody bothers you… I would ideally pick a corner table to people-watch, or go there on a late afternoon to meet a friend for coffee. Ooh, and I love those bowl-like cups they serve coffee in! (Gotta be careful while handling the cups though, but still so much fun.)

Moshe’s

Out of all these places, Moshe’s is the one I visit the most. This is irrespective of the area it’s located in, because I love all of the outlets… Minila introduced me to Moshe’s and I can never get enough of their food, desserts or well, coffee. The whole place, really… I can spend hours there going through magazines, drawing in my journal, etc. Their oven-baked pasta and salmon bagels get my top vote. Ooh, and the (baked?) Philadelphia cheesecake is a favourite, too!

Pali Village Cafe

To be honest, I have been here all of just two times. But it’s a lovely place really, to catch up with a close friend or when you’re out with your lover, hahaha!

Starbucks Coffee

Okay, so if it’s not Moshe’s, then Starbucks is where I am at! Call me a hipster or whatever, but I always liked the coffee chain back from my time in the Arabian desert. Apart from that, something about its global branding and presence just always impressed (er, intrigued) me. Ooh, and the siren! (It’s one of my favourite logos.)

The Pantry

Bright, cheery and very cottage-like is what I think of, when I step inside this little restaurant at Kala Ghoda. The food’s about okay-good (their portions are heavy, so you might want to split it with your partner); I really like their espresso which they serve in dainty, dusky blue cups. I told you so!

The Table

THIS PLACE IS EXPENSIVE. (I do think it’s nice to go there on an occasion though, or when you feel treating yourself… Delicious meals, minimalist interiors and good coffee!)

The Yoga House

This is one place I go to faithfully whenever I am in the area (Bandra); it’s a serene place to read a book, meditate while looking at the sunlight streaming in through muslin curtains, et cetera and basically drink your coffee in peace. (Their raw chocolate mousse is goooood!)

P.S. There might be a few shops that I am missing, or yet to discover but for now, these will have to do. Also, this post was very impromptu… I would like to, at some point, shoot posts at some of these places – Coffee places, ooh! ♥

***********

Artwork by Roanna Fernandes