Category Archives: Kenya

Zebra in a Bag Kids Light T-Shirt @ Matatu’s T-Stop

Zebras are definitely in for kids this year! My zebra in a bag design has been the most popular item in my cafe press store this season! want one???? go get it! still available and a HOT SELL!

zebra in a bag kids t-shirts and clothing. available for adults too!

Zebra in a Bag Kids Light T-Shirt > Zebra in a Bag > Matatu’s T-Stop.


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The Standard | Online Edition :: Two charged over human organs

2 Men charged with cutting off a male sex organ from a dead body in a Kenyan Mortuary… chilling story… seems these organs are used for Voodoo rituals throughout easterna nd central Africa….. brrrrrrrrr…..

The Standard | Online Edition :: Two charged over human organs.

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Posted by on September 23, 2010 in Africa, Kenya


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Tattoo Painting Series Finished… at last!

I started a series of miniature acrylic paintings about a year ago and am happy to say they are finally finished! They are 9 canvases in all and done entirely by hand, without using trace lines underneath, to maintain a “primitive art” feel, raw and untamed.

The inspiration for this series was African tribal scarification, which leaves bumpy scars on the skin’s surface, like a texture. Many of the patterns used for scarification (dots or lines) are evident throughout the series, but I expanded them to include other forms ofย  “decoration” since I realized that so many different objects used to adorn the body are also similar in shape, texture and form. Some of the paintings are reminiscent of Masai beaded jewelry and also Henna designs, used by many of the Islamic and Hindu populations of Africa. Each object, design, tattoo, form and shape comes together to accomplish one goal: beautification and adornment of the human body…. to celebrate its mystery and it’s unique beauty!

While I do not wish to sell the originals shown below, I am selling this series on commission. Available on gallery wrapped canvases, at any size you require. prices will be based on canvas size and design/s chosen and will include labor and materials. shipping based on client location. If interested please feel free to send me a message by going to my website’s contact page:ย

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Jungle Fever Zebra Tote Bag > Jungle Fever Zebra > Matatu’s T-Stop

Jungle fever tote bag

Take a walk on your wild side! from t-shirts to bags; mugs to caps! his design is for the zebra lover in you!

Jungle Fever Zebra Tote Bag > Jungle Fever Zebra > Matatu’s T-Stop.


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Matatu’s Tee Stop Launched!!!!

Hi all! Am so excited to announce the launch of my new cafe press store! I have been busy designing T-shirts, posters, Sigg water bottles, mugs, framed art and wall clocks with original artwork and photographs from my trips around the world! You’ll find some of my old favorites as well as new humor tees for adults and kids alike! Be sure to have a look and sign up for my newsletter to recieve notices of new products available! Happy shopping to all and thanks again for reading my blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

Matatus Tee Stop @ cafe press

Matatus Tee Stop @ cafe press


The Sea Will Take Small Pride…

My true love....

My true love.... photograph by Francesca Cornell, copyright 2007

“Like all oceans, the Indian Ocean seems never to end, and the ships that sail on it are small and slow. They have no speed, nor any sense of urgency; they do not cross the water, they live on it until the land comes home.”

Beryl Markham, West With The Night


Posted by on May 31, 2009 in Africa, authors, books, Kenya, Photography


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Aspiring to be different…. =)

me: PUNK!a dark version of a material girl…? Madonna was my idol at the time too! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Posted by on May 25, 2009 in alternative, Art, Design, Kenya, Photography, punk


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Marrakesh Express Party Graphics and Food!

grigliataSo… aside from being a web designer/graphic/digital illustrator/painter I’ll have you know that I’m also not too shabby a cook! ๐Ÿ˜‰ To me cooking food is just as much an art form as say, painting with oils or sketching in a notepad… it’s about recognizing spices and blending ingredients to create magic, just as one would do while experimenting with colors, forms and various techniques… The last of 4 children, I remember being put in the kitchen as early as two by my wonderful mother who is still the most amazing cook I’ve ever known… ask her friends too… they’d agree! My very first job was stirring batters… and then licking the bowl of course! and eventually it progressed from prep-work to carving veggies for plate decorations.

My fondest memories are in fact of the “Bigi” women in the kitchen hand cranking our trusty pasta machine, all of us standing in a line to catch the sheets of pasta that continued to grow right down to the very last hole! it was team work and we had to work fast to make sure the pasta didn’t dry out too fast barely2depending on what we were making! On those nights you’d walk into our kitchen and find 3 foot long paper thin sheets of pasta hanging from every chair, counter-top and table available! We’d laugh and talk and have food fights in between serious work and around 2am, tired and exhausted she’d still find the energy to make us all french toast with powdered sugar which we’d eat sipping ondelight1 brandy or a glass of wine (no, silly! not when i was TWO! although as with any Italian family my water at dinner time was always tinged with pink since dad would pour a few drops of wine in my water, as is tradition) I owe a lot to my mother for having given me my artistic and culinary abilities… she was and is (70 and still going about it like she was 30!!) a Jane of all trades, and while i will be more humble to say i might be master of just some, she is master of all… especially her unruly children!!!! =) “Ti voglio tanto bene mammetta mia!!!!”<3 =) I still can’t get over the fact that today we spend hundreds of dollars a year for gym memberships when our mothers and grandmothers stayed thin and fit because they did everything by hand!!! They cooked and cleaned without all those expensive gadgets (gosh, i still to this day will use a wine bottle to roll dough or a glass for a cookie cutter… if i need fancy shapes it’s called a knife! why spend so much money for the convenience when creating and cooking can be such a joyful experience!) and still worked all day and tended to their families at night…

So last week I was up for 48 hours straight preparing for a Moroccan themed birthday party for my roommate and myself. Not only did I cook Moroccan inspired (and quite authentic minus a few artistic licenses I permitted myself!) food but I also created some graphics for the invite! Just as i don’t use any pre-madeย  clip-art for my website designs I also refuse to use anything from a box or that is pre-made… now you see the connection more clearly…. what was on the menu you ask?pita2

I made homemade Pita bread (yes, really…. flour, yeast… the whole nine yards!), 3 types of homemade Hummus (i bought dried chickpeas aka garbanzo beans which i soeggplantaked for 24 hrs and then boiled for another 2 hours on low heat… more time but less money and better tasting than buying a can of them and just blending them! it allows me to add things during the entire process that gives my dishes a unique flavor… unachievable by using the canned stuff!): one was a roasted eggplant hummus (everyone’s’ favorite because they didn’t know it was eggplant… sneaky me! lol!!!), black olive hummus and (bliss!) Sun dried tomato Hummus. I also made a pearl barely and parsley salad with lots of homemade grilled Mediterranean veggies, couscous with zucchine and pine nuts, ginger chicken nuggets (not Moroccan but a sure favorite!!!) Rose and Orange blossom water flavored Turkish Delight and an almond Baklava… the only thing that came pre-packaged was the phylo dough! ๐Ÿ˜‰
It was a ladies only night and we not only feasted and danced to Arab music but we also had a lovely woman come in to do our henna! (her name is Jodi and you can book her for your own parties or for private sessions through her website:

Arty Party Henna Tattoos


Here is one of the graphics I created for the party using Adobe Illustrator, although, due to limitations with I used a simpler version of it:

Welcome to Morocco!

Welcome to Morocco!

her’s the simpler version since the files were compressed so much and I didn’t have much control on its display:

Marrakesh Express Train

Moroccan cityscape

It worked well with our color theme which was jewel toned and my rooomie Amber spray painted palm leaves from the yard to make golden fans! The whole thing was a huge hit!!! =) I have to say that although Kenya isn’t exactly in North Africa we have enough of a muslim presence there for me to have found it easy enough to draw the background cityscape (reminiscent of Mombasa, Kenya’s primary port) seeing as Mosques were scattered across Nairobi very predominantly… I remember in fact being awakened every morning by the Muezzins’ call to prayer… it was a romatic serenade which i loved listening to and would always get me up and ready to go to school since it was a good 45 minutes away from our house. We had a Mosque across the valley from our house and I still hear him to this day when i go back to visit… although they have been replaced by cds… legend has it (but don’t quote me!) that back in the day Muezzins used to have their eyes carved out because they stood at the top of the mosques’ tower and so would have been able to see into the women’s courtyards, violating their privacy and islamic law.

Everything in this world is intrinsic unto itself…. its all about finding our very own connections… and I have found mine… whereby cooking and art become one! If you live in the South Bay Area,ย  San Jose, CA and you would like a caterer for your cocktail or dinner party do email me: or visit my website: and use the contact form! and I can make all the arrangements for you, including help with any decor or table displays! I’ll cook the food right in your kitchen so it’ll be like having a personal chef for a night! i also do birthday and special occasion cakes, using only the finest ingredients from Belgian chocolate to homemade marzipan and European liqueurs (please specify if it is a childrens’ party as my cakes are very European by standards!) Because of my deep understanding of food, my excellent palette and my pure passion for cooking I can amke you anything from truly authentic sushi and sashimi to the best tasting homemade pasta dishes from nothern Italy that you’ve ever had! ๐Ÿ˜‰ below is a small sample of dishes I have made recently for dinner parties! as we say in Italy… Buon Appetito da Francesca!!!!


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New Paintings added to my page….

I have also added some great links and information!

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Posted by on April 4, 2009 in Acrylics, Art, california, Design, Kenya


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Brush Works…

Here’s some of my latest canvas paintings… these are part of a series of 9 that i am creating for a bare wall just crying out to me! ๐Ÿ™‚

Acrylic Mini Paintings for My Roomโ€ฆ.

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Posted by on January 30, 2009 in Acrylics, Art, Kenya, Paintings


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