Friday, August 24, 2007

Champagne Days


Yesterday K & S said...you've had the coolest jobs! You ain't seen nothin' Sweetie Darling.

Paul Bocuse, Champagne Mumm's spokes person,
suggested I do some artwork for them and made introductions.
They gave me a test assignment: Come up with a big group drawing of tons of celebrities drinking Mumm that they could gift to all their employees.
Can you spot Kate Moss? And there's one of the Seagrams brothers embracing the big bottle. Please note everyone is holding their glass by the STEM. Never hold a champagne glass by the "bowl". You must not warm up the bubbles.


That group drawing led to a portrait promotion program. They thought I should paint the portraits directly onto the Mumm bottles?
I imagined a sea of Mumm jeroboams in my living room. The last minute I dreamed up the idea to print their label design on my watercolor paper and I ended up with just stacks of nice neatly printed Champagne labels
One of the perks of this career was I got to stay at the Mumm mansion in Reims.
 
The countryside in Champagne is magnificent and there's a new fast train from Paris that gets you there in an hour. Don't miss it!

I got to stay a week in Verzy at Veuve Clicquot's country estate.
It was just me and a refrigerator full of
jeroboams.
They said, "Help yourself" Right! :)
Someone did pop in to deliver petit dejeuner in the morning and the rest of the time I communed with the grapevines. They still use straw baskets to pick the grapes in Champagne.


There's a lot of partying in the Champagne Biz. These pourers are dressed up as old fashioned "cellar men". They used to turn the resting bottles.

They're fun to sketch... This is not me embracing the big bottle, that's my French boss at Mumm.
This is me partying at the Chelsea Arts Club Belle Epoche Ball held at London's Albert Hall... Well there is a Champagne bottle in the picture. We had to show up outfitted from Degas and Lautrec paintings. I chose a Degas dancer. 
Roger Terry, the club concierge, told me,
"If you add one more satin bow to that outfit, you'll look like a dog's dinner."
Don't you just love the Brits!
Pass the Bolly Sweetie Darling!

30 comments:

  1. loveitaly9:40 AM

    ;))
    Delightful, Carol. Those bottles looked great! And I'm glad to see you're in here, again. (Obviously, that guy didn't know Degas!) Good story.

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  2. loveitaly9:42 AM

    ps
    'likin' your bubbles in the painting! I forgot to mention.

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  3. Yay! More stories from the fascinating life of Carol! Did you go into the cathedral in Reims? I've only been there once but remember the beautiful Chagall painting more than the Champagne. My Champagne tour was tame compared to your experiences!

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  4. loveitaly10:07 AM

    pss
    OMG, Carol, I didn't even play the AB-FAB link 'til now--they always crack me up. Hilarious. I used to get the biggest kick out of those two and their escapades. Jolly good.

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  5. Foodwalker10:27 AM

    ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!
    Sweetie Darlin'
    xxAnnie

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  6. Yes you sure have had the coolest jobs. You have gotten to travel and do what you love to do.. draw & paint & mingle with interesting people. Great photo of you.
    Cris

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  7. OMG! that is fantastic! I'm jealous of all that bubbly :)

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  8. Well of course I love Brits! And champagne. I have been to Mumm in Reims but I certainly didnt get to stay in their mansion.

    I think you deserved all of this.

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  9. Sarah B11:56 AM

    What fun! and what amazing diggs! Did you ever just have to pinch yourself to believe it was all real? I love the Degas costume, and I have to say oh la la to the man in the picture with you.

    Sarah

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  10. Yes... that's it. You ABSOLUTELY have done/do the coolest-fab jobs!!!! I love that picture of you at the ball... dog's dinner indeed, he was just jealous that you were not his date!!!!...

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  11. What a fun way to start my morning - with your post, abbbbsolutely faaahbulous!
    I linked back to your post on Paul Bocuse; one of my favorite chicken dishes is served in Chicago at Bistro 110:
    Chicken and Morels "Paul Bocuse" Chef Bocuse's most famous dish. Fricassee of chicken served on a bed of fresh sautéed spinach with a morel mushroom crème sauce.
    There is also a rose named after him, that I intend to get for my rose garden, maybe I'll plant it next to the Julia Child Floribunda...
    Thanks for the two excellent posts, you are a great storyteller as well as an artist.

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  12. Ahh, the champagne life! The only travelling I get to do in France is via a local TV program called Global Village. It is fun to see the grapes growing, how they make the champagne and, of course, the fine dining zat goes wiz eet! The closest to a spectacular French-style winery we have here in Victoria, Australia, amongst all the many vineyards, belongs to Moet et Chandon in the Yarra Valley. They have a lovely tasting area and eatery that overlooks their superb vines and the hills in the distance. Quelle superbe! I always enjoy a visit there, and the wine is superb, too!

    Yes, you've certainly lived the champagne life, Carol! Still doing it, I'd say...

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  13. Came over to read your blog .. It really cheered me up...have had a really draing few weeks...your blog is delightful, colourful and a joy to read.

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  14. Marie-Noëlle1:39 PM

    YOU LOOK GORGEOUS at the "belle époque" ball... I can feel, hear and smell the atmosphere there !!!
    And I love Champagne... love its colour, love its bubbles, love its taste... EVERYTHING !!!
    What an experience of yours!!!

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  15. jeanette m of l6:23 PM

    Dogs' dinner indeed! You look absolutely stunning! And what an adventure !!
    jeanette m of l

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  16. Yum. Champagne is my favorite alcoholic drink.

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  17. Carol, what could be more yummy than champagne and Marrons Glace??

    What a delightful peek into your exciting life. Laughing out loud about the "dog's dinner", yes, those Brits are funny!
    Lidy

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  18. I love your painting of the Parisian macarons. We have a shop in Hong Kong that serves them and they're my favourite thing during a teabreak...

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  19. Your story sounds like a made up fairy tale. It's so cool knowing it's all true! I love the painting with the champagne--it's delightful and has just the right feeling of celebration and carefreeness (not a word, but couldn't think of the right one). You do look like a lady from an impressionist painting in the photo. What a delicious treat this post was!

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  20. Your drawings are fab and so much fun Carol! You HAVE had the most excellent adventures, to include this bubbly one for sure! I spied two people mishandling their flutes >- Will there be prizes being issued?

    You look beautiful in your Tutu!

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  21. Jealous! Jealous! Jealous!
    What an Ab Fab life you lead.... their Mansion too, AND the Chelsea Arts Club. Amazing!
    How do you do it?
    Lizzi

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  22. Mumm, sweetie, darling?


    when, just when,
    do we have to stop believing you
    and all these dreamies?
    when?

    :-)

    if you have
    an andy warhol story in the wings,
    i'm leaving...

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  23. Lucky lady to have spent a week in Champagne country with bottles of the bubbly at hand for whenever the mood strikes. I love your line art in these illustrations for the label and the ones below. And your Degas costume was spot on...very elegant.

    *waves* hope you had a good weekend!

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  24. BIG MERCI!
    You Sweetie Darlings

    It wasn't all wine and roses...
    Especially since I was often very busy pushing a pencil around or stuck behind a camera...
    I thought I should tell you that so you don't think I was some kind of Paris Hilton for Gawd's sake!

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  25. This Champagne of a post made me so lightheaded I am afraid to say anything. *gingin*
    (How often do we have to repeat "Paris Hilton" to have the paparazzi all over your doorsteps? *grin*)
    Well, blame it on ...

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  26. P.S.:
    What was that lady behind you singing?

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  27. Carol, your work is delightful. And champagne is my favourite drink ever! We've been to Champagne country twice; methinks it might be time for another little jaunt. :) Great photos!

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  28. Oh, Carol, I forgot to say that in the Belle Epoch pic, you look a little like me when I was in my early 30s...it was a bit of a surprise, actually!

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  29. Hi there,

    After reading your article i just thought i would leave you a quick comment. As i noticed in your article you talked about printing labels i just thought i would let you know that a while back i actually managed to find a british labels company who sold me a batch of plain labels for a really low cost. I just thought i would inform you of this as i know the company also does many types of label printing including printing wine labels.

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  30. Ah I believe the fellows who turn the bottles are called "riddlers"...a very dusty difficult job, running thru the cellars and turning bottles a quarter turn at a time...making good champagne ain't easy....

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