Monthly Archives: May 2010

Six Years

For six years today I have been married to this man, I have known him for ten (including our married time together). I am more in love with him now than the day I married him! I didn’t think I could be more in love with him than on our wedding day.

Last night we made a cake together and listened to beach music and danced around the kitchen laughing. He took out the garbage afterwards and called me to the door to, “smell the rain”, he said.

Taking my hand he led me to the door and we just stood there under the porch, smelling the fresh rain and looking at the last of a violet-orange-pinky sunset in the distance.  I hope I get to spend the next 60 years together, just smelling the rain with him.

(Pink Doily – The Pugly Pixel, embellished with a selection of images by J. Michie)

When Life Gives You Lemons…

When life gives you lemons, MAKE LEMONADE! My Mama has a cross stitch sampler of this saying hanging in the kitchen and my sister and I just love it. This has been a bit of a lemon week, but thankfully it is coming to an end and the weekend brings with it something very special.

I love lemonade, it was always a sign of summer. We would be playing outside, riding our bikes everywhere (I had my Mom’s old bike, sparkly turqouise with a white banana seat, I loved it!) and you were always about to drop from thirst when you came in from the heat. But, if you could just make it a few more steps into the kitchen there was always a pitcher of fresh lemonade on the counter, be it yellow, pink or green and nothing is more refreshing than a glass of lemonade. Unless, of course it is a glass of sweet tea, or even better 1/2 a glass of sweet tea + 1/2 a glass of lemonade=HEAVEN!

Since lemonade is not always the easiest thing to come by in England, or they way I like it to taste, I thought I would share a recipe with you courtesy of Martha Stewart. Enjoy! And, remember when life gives you lemons, MAKE LEMONADE!, this is sound advice!

(Recipe and lemonade image copyright Martha Stewart, Envelope and Doily graphics copyright the puglypixel, embellished by J. Michie)

*The Pugly Pixel is wonderful and she has the most delicious freebies, be sure to go to her site and take a peek!

Mr. Owl

“Hoot-Hoot!”, said Mr. Owl, who would like to be hoot-hooting on my kitchen counter filled with oatmeal cookies in his tummy!

I love this 1970’s-ish orange owl cookie jar from Anthropologie. He has a lot of personality. I keep searching for the right cookie jar to put in our kitchen.

Something vintage, something cute or cool or retro looking that brings with it a bit of charm and character and hopefully a story or two to tell about all the hands, big and little, that reached inside for a cookie or three.

(Wise Ol’ Cookie Jar image copyright Anthropologie, embellished by –  J. Michie)

Elephants on Parade

We headed into central London yesterday and to our surprise were met with an elephant dressed as Sherlock Holmes on Baker Street.

He was the first of many that we came across on our walk about town. These elephants were all created by artists and celebrities to support the efforts to conserve the dwindling Asian elephant population which is in dire need of help.

My favorite of the day was this one, “Cholai” in Leicester Square:

When we got home we looked up the Elephant Route Map and read about the project and we plan to go back in to see more, like this one by Jack Vettriano, “The Singing Butler Rides Again”:

I want to see the next one especially, outside one of my favorite places, The Natural History Museum. Her name is Phoolan, created by the artist Carrie Reichardt.  She is representative of the beauty of elephants to the eye of an audience, dressed for a parade but the other side of the coin is their destruction by man’s abuse of the land and of them. I love her pink and raspberry red skull head-piece and ankle bracelet, very Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom-ish.

Click below to watch a video on how Phoolan was put together, a lot of man hours and tile went into this little lady:

To find out more about the elephants on show and to download a map if you want to see them yourself click on the links below:

(All images copyright The London Elephant Parade 2010, except the image of Phoolan close-up, it is a press release photo from the Blog of Carrie Reichardt)

Thank You Mr. Postman

My Jolly Postman rapped at my door a few mornings ago now with his cherry red bike in one hand and this in the other:

And what was inside this adorably wrapped tube? It was this:

My sweetie surprised me and had ordered this print I had been pining away for on Etsy.  It is by the very sweetly named Katie Daisy.

I believe very much in this quote, I am wandering, I think I might have found a new path (more to come on that), but I never felt lost.

Go look at her gorgeous page and her other wonderful designs. I love this one:

And this one:

And so many more…

Click on the image below to be taken her to Etsy page:

(images of mailing tube and business cards by J. Michie, all other images copyright Katie Daisy)

New Blog Header

I have put a new blog header up. After a year with the same one, I was itching for something different to be up there! I have been playing around with this new design for a few weeks and I think I have finally tweaked it (with a bit of help from my adorable red-head)!

So I have gone from this:

to this:

I LOVE it! Especially the gnome….

I have also created a new button:

you’ll find it further down on my sidebar under everyone I love, so grab it and spread the ♥!

Button Mushrooms

I found this adorable recipe on the Bake it Pretty Blog and I thought I would share. I love making shortbread, usually I just mould it into a pie shape and then cut it into thick wedges to have alongside a nice cup of tea. These would be perfect for a “Gnome Tea Party”, with Bake it Pretty’s gnome or mushroom sprig cake toppers placed on cupcakes and their gnome or snail shaped cookie cutters used for sugar cookies or to shape tea sandwiches. The possibilities are endless and I know I am already getting carried away with the ideas buzzing around in my head…

The use of a beer bottle dusted with cocoa powder is a fantastic idea to create that sweet squat mushroom stem. How inventive! Since I am in a shortbread baking kind of mood this weekend I thought about trying this recipe if we can squeeze it in to the crazy weekend that will be happening…

I have included their recipe if you want to try it for yourself:

Ingredients:

Preheat oven at 350 degrees  –  yields approx. 42 cookies
1 – 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon table salt
One empty soda or beer bottle (cleaned and dried)
Cocoa powder (about 1/4 cup)
Water

Recipe:

Sift together flour, cornstarch, powdered sugar and salt.  Add softened butter and vanilla, and mix thoroughly until a thick but light dough is formed.  It should be soft but not too sticky, and easy to handle.

Roll the dough into 1″ balls and place about 1″ apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silpat mats.  Place about 1/4 cup of cocoa powder into a small bowl, and about 1/4 cup water in to a separate small bowl.

Dip the top of the soda/beer bottle into water and shake off any excess.  Dip the bottle into the cocoa powder and tap the side to shake if any excess.  Gently press the bottle straight into one of your dough balls, pressing just barely into the dough, only about 1/4″ inch, then pull the bottle away.

Continue with the rest of your cookies, dipping your bottle into the cocoa between each pressing.  If it gets too light, do another water-dip then keep going.

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Take them out when they are just done, and barely the tiniest bit brown on the bottom.  Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.

*Details:

– You can substitute flour for the cornstarch if you like, it will make the cookies a little more dense and toothsome.  I definitely reccomend using the cornstarch if possible, it really adds to the delicate and crumbly nature of the cookies.

(All images and recipe text copyright Bake it Pretty, cookie cutter image embellished by J. Michie)

Rainbow Sherbert

I always photograph my bears and bunnies upon completion, but, for my last order as I lined a few of them up, their colors reminded me of a bowl of rainbow sherbet.

When my sister and I were little she would always pick that flavour if we were taken to Baskin-Robbins for a scoop of ice-cream.

I had either french vanilla or more often than not: pink bubblegum, because it was pink and there were bubblegum pieces in it you could chew when you were done, it was like having 2 desserts!

These little guys reminded me of bowls of ice-cream and their little personalities that came through as I was sewing were just as sweet as that luscious scoop on a sugared cone.

(Ice-Cream images copyright Baskin-Robbins, embellished by J. Michie)