Monthly Archives: October 2010

Happy Halloween

In the run-up to Halloween you had to make the toughest decisions you had made all year, it was like the practice test that got you ready to start working on your list for Santa that would become your focus not long after Thanksgiving. What was the toughest decision you made? It was: what would I be for Halloween?

I was so many things over the years, a pumpkin, a witch, a pink bunny, a little leopard. One year I was St. Lucia, I dressed up just like my American Girl Doll, Kirsten Larson, with my hair in braided loops and a wreath around my head that my Mom lit with battery operated candles. Knowing my love for all things Christmas, this was one of my favorite costumes.

As I was growing up, on the other side of the pond, so was Mr. Michie. Being British he never had the full American Halloween dressing-up, trick-or-treating experience. But, I know if he had and we had been friends when we were little, as I know we would have been, then knowing his love for all things Star Wars, he would have made us go out trick-or-treating like this:

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Gauguin

I went to see the Gauguin exhibit today at the Tate Modern, it was a wonderful day! When we first entered the Tate we headed off to see Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower commission. It is composed of millions of porcelain sunflower seeds that are all spread out on the floor, it was unbelievable how real they all looked. I was saddened though, that you can no longer walk on them.

The Gauguin exhibit was interesting, I saw pieces of his work that I was never aware that he created. For instance, a series of wood carved statues that were so intricately designed, their Tahitian influence so apparent in their almost totem pole shape, they were beautiful.

There was a lot of people there, a little too much for my liking, all pushing and shoving, which is something that I have never understood. I felt they were there to simply say they had been, not to actually take it in and enjoy it.

After stopping for a spot of cake and tea, we headed over to St. Martin’s crypt to see next year’s contenders for the plinth in Trafalgar Square.  You can vote on your favourite, these were my two:

It was a wonderful day out, in the pleasure of good company and an absolute luxury to be in 1/2 term, spending a usual working day, walking around and soaking up the Tate.

Stop the Clocks

I tweeted this post out: “Paris Flat Unopened for 70 Years”, a few weeks ago and kept the article in my Instapaper account to read over again. I re-read it this morning and I am still as intrigued as I was the first time.

The flat was owned by Mrs. de Florian, who left it and moved to the South of France before the outbreak of WWII. She recently passed away at the age of 91 and her estate came into the public eye when experts were asked to inventory her possessions.  It was through this research that the treasures in her abandoned flat were discovered.

I could not imagine having a place I never returned too. I wonder why she never did? Was it the memories that it held? Was it the memories that it didn’t? Maybe she simply had no ties there. Stepping through the door and in to that world must have been like stepping through the looking glass.

Other than the dust and cobwebs strewn about the flat, it looked as though the inhabitants had just run out to pick up something from a shop.  One of the most startling discoveries was a painting, by the artist Boldini, who’s muse was Mrs. de Florian’s grandmother. Which has been auctioned off for €2.1 million, a record sale for the artist.

What I love most about this article, is that today, even with all the technology we have, there are still some discoveries left to be found, hidden worlds yet to be opened.

Halloween Hang-Ups

We are so close to Halloween I can taste it! I will be tasting it tomorrow, if all goes well and my parcel is delivered, I will have a box full of Halloween goodies from my Mom. Candy corn, here I come!

I thought I would share this little Halloween project with you, I found on Martha Stewart. Wouldn’t these look fun hung in tree branches that are strung with lights for a bobbing for apples party? Again, a wonderful use of paper, such a simple item, but it can be made to form the most beautiful things.

How To:

Floating, spinning, spooky visages will draw extra attention to a table of goodies.

1. Fold PapersFor each decoration, you’ll need to accordion-fold 8 1/2-by-11-inch sheets of colored paper, making 1/2- or 3/4-inch folds. For small faces, accordion-fold 3 sheets of paper vertically, then bend each in half to make a fan. For medium, accordion-fold 6 sheets horizontally. For large, accordion-fold 11 sheets vertically.

2. Form CirclesFor small faces, cut 6 strips of paper equal to length of fan’s fold and twice its width; fold in half lengthwise. Use a glue stick to attach strips to fans (see below), and fans to one another, forming a circle. For larger faces, glue 1 edge of folded paper to next until you form a circle. Hot-glue center to secure.

3. Add FeaturesPrint templates (get the pumpkincat, and owl templates), enlarging or reducing to desired size. Trace shapes onto colored paper twice; cut out. Attach shapes to each side of decoration with hot glue. Hole-punch top; hang using ribbon.

Pumpkin Party

Doesn’t this picture just make you want to have a pumpkin party? It certainly makes me want to have one! I can see the picnic table now, covered with newspapers and pumpkins all sat at the ready to have bewitching or bemusing faces carved into their rich orange ribbed flesh.

As your guest carved away you could serve popcorn balls, apple slices with oozey goozey caramel to dip or maybe fresh baked doughnuts rolled in cinnamon and sugar and hot apple cider.

Candles lit as night falls in, good music playing while everyone carves away and just enjoys each other’s company and a lovely crispy fall evening for it to take place in… I’m ready for a pumpkin party, how about you?

(Image Country Living)

Into the Woods

A little while ago, I came across an article from last year, on “designvagabond” and thought I would share it. I appreciate contemporary architecture and design, but it is not always for me. I do not like the cold,sterile feeling that some designs leave you with. But, I do love the use of lighting, windows and the idea of bringing nature into your indoor environment.

Having no window in my little cupboard, this is an office I would gladly call my own. The architect’s plans are beautifully executed. This is a little office nestled in the woods and I love the fact that as you work, you can watch the birds, see a leaf fall, see a branch burst into bloom, watch night slowly close in on you… You get to see life unfold before your eyes, you get to see one season slip into the next.

You become part of something more. More than just someone cooped up in an office, you can live vicariously through your windows and as a girl who doesn’t have one at the moment, I really like that!

The Tate

This week, Mr. Michie visited the Tate Britain with his media students. The museum lover that I am, I have to admit, sacrilege as this is to say, that the Tate just doesn’t seem to really do it for me, and maybe that is because I always seemed to end up in the Turner room with my classmates studying his pieces and I slowly came to hate going there, being stuck in that room.

And maybe, because the John Singer Sargent that I love and used to visit often, “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose”, suddenly, never seemed to be up when I went, it started to become this elusive painting, I was always hunting for.

I do love going to the Tate Modern however. I love that an old power station instead of being torn down was used to create a space in which people can walk around, interact with art, or sit in a chair, look at an art book and watch the Thames float by.

But, after Mr. Michie’s adventure out on Thursday, I am starting to slowly love the Tate again, if only for this:

I will be going to visit the Gauguin exhibition at the Tate Modern in a few weeks and I am going to try to squeeze in the going to the Tate as well and I will be looking around it again with fresh eyes, as Humphrey Bogart once said, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

(Image taken by Mr. Michie, Artwork by Bob & Roberta Smith, I was Hansel in the School Play, 2008)

Oh My Word!

Last week, in all the craziness that it was and became, in the five minutes peace I had, I went to a blog I love, Oh My Word, by the very wonderful and kind Evelyn. We talk to each other on Twitter and she has the hootiest husband, who along side his brother has turned an old ambulance into a Ohio State University tailgating machine, which I just love.

In all that was happening last week between work and home, I went to read this very lovely blog and Oh My Word, you will never guess what happened? I looked over to her “fabulousness” column and there amongst other women I admire, sat my little button.

I could not believe it! Surrounded by other great bloggers, Jenny Wren’s was there in the “fabulousness” column, well Evelyn, I thank you; you more than made my day, you made my week and I think you are pretty fabulousness too!

If you don’t already read Oh My Word, please make sure you take a look, take my word, it is a blog worth reading!

Pumpkin Hunting

The weather has turned and it feels deliciously like Autumn outside now! We have woken up to a grey morning, but the pinkest of pink skies is beginning to form over the rooftops and I think we might get a little sparkle of sun today.

I don’t mind what weather we have today, because I spotted my first pumpkins in town last week and I am planning on going pumpkin hunting! I can’t wait to see what I can find, which little pumpkin or two will jump into my hands and come home with me, along with a couple of flats of pansies.

My tiny grocery store in town had the most beautiful blackest of black velvety pansies and I want to grab some and mix them with orange pansies to make up a little Halloween planter outside. I am also crossing my fingers that they still have the yellow and white pansies as well, that mixed with orange will be candy corn colors bringing happiness to my garden!

Pumpkins are just such beautiful things to me. They seem to hold the essence of Autumn, in their bright orange blush that meld into hues of yellows, sometimes a touch of red. So today I am putting on my green polka dot wellies, grabbing one of my wicker shopping baskets and going pumpkin hunting, to bring a taste of Autumn inside…

(Image Marththa Stewart)