Monthly Archives: February 2011

Goose Girl & Foxy’s London Day Out

We decided to go into London this week and since Goose Girl and Foxy had a bit of cabin fever they begged us to take them with us. So off we all went on a little day adventure.

After lunch, our first stop was the Natural History Museum. We haven’t been to the gardens since the Summer and decided to check on the ducks and see what the bees were up to in their tree hideout. Unfortunately, the garden does not open until April. Foxy was especially disappointed about this, as he wanted to run around the meadow.

“Don’t worry”, we said, “we will bring you back when it opens!” Even though it was closed, they still wanted their picture taken by the fence. After, snapping some photos of them and peering through the gate to see if we saw anything interesting moving about, we headed off to the V&A to see Mat Collishaw’s “Magic Lantern”. The idea being that of “moths to a flame”. With the aide of a zoetrope they appear to be flying around the cupola of the V&A. They will be flittering around for the next month or so from dusk till dawn.

There was a model of it, set up in the gardens, so you can see what it looks like any time of day. After watching it spin a few times we sat by the fountain for a few moments, and decided to head off to the Renaissance galleries. I had the chance to see some fantastic architectural pieces, I had not seen before, the V&A never ceases to amaze me!

We headed up to the Theatre area and had the opportunity to watch conservators working on a hanging tapestry that was going on loan to an exhibition. It was beautiful to watch them work. We stayed till dusk to see the real lantern light up, but it was very hard to see, no matter how far back we were from the museum.  After a day of trooping around, a much needed dinner was in order, so off to one of our favorite haunts we went: Wahaca!

Dinner, as always was divine. Goose Girl & Foxy were very tired from the day and said they didn’t even want to come out of my purse for dessert. Although, Foxy said the toasted sunflower seeds on my vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce, smelled delicious (he licked the salt off my fingers later). Goose Girl, was much more interested in Mr. Michie’s churros with a chocolate sauce to dip them in, she decided she would sneak out after all, for a little nibble. She was too quick for us to get her picture though!

We all headed home exhausted, but very happy after having spent a wonderful day together!

Art-O-Mat

When I was in College, they installed one of these in our Art Department. It was there on a trial basis to see if something like this would work! Well, we all loved it! What is it? It is a refurbished cigarette machine that sells art instead of cigarettes. I adored the fact that in keeping with the style the design was still very much the “old cigarette case” look, that very 1960’s-esque edge to it.

I don’t know if they have changed this part or not, but we had to use a special “token” to get the art out. You handed in your money to the Art office and received a chip that you would use to collect your chosen piece.

You really had no idea what was going to be in the boxes. The images used to “describe” it, was either just the Artist’s name or a very brief line, like, “man in a box”. You didn’t know what was going to pop out and that was half the fun. There was all sorts of things from mini oil paintings, to a book of photographs that told a story, to miniature statues, sometimes it was just typed text that had been pasted down and decorated.

I love the idea of “Art for the Masses”, and I mean this in the best possible sense. Not mass produced cheap art, but the Andy Warhol idea of mass production, in the sense that you were creating 20 or 30 of the same thing and quite possibly something to never be created again, but for $5, everyone had a chance to own a little piece of Art. It made it accessible and Art should be accessible. (I know I stray here a bit, in that Andy Warhol was mass producing to make a point about Art, but I think you get my point as well.)

I have the very lovely Sherry to thank for tweeting out this pic to me, it made me smile!

If you don’t already follow this gal through twitter, you certainly should, she is a sweetheart! Thanks for sending me this image, Sherry!

(Image Copyright: MerrieSherrie “Art dispensing vintage cigarette machine, Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas”)

To learn more about Art-o-mat, click here

Love Hearts

Yesterday admidst all my dusting, mopping, pantry tearing apart and vacuuming (with my new hoover), there was a knock on my racing green door and a Valentine’s package was placed into my arms.

It was filled with all kinds of wonderful surprises and too many of them! Including the love hearts above. When one is presented with such a gorgeous Valentine’s surprise, you know it is time to take a cleaning break, tear into that package and just enjoy all that delicious candy before you. A girl’s gotta keep her cleaning strength up, you know!

And, most importantly as you munch away on candy while going through all your surprises, you can’t forgot the “Love Heart Eating Rules”, you have to read what your heart says before eating it, Mr. Michie forgot that part yesterday, but I reminded him!

Thanks Mom, Dad & Maisy, you as always, are too generous!

Vacuum Woes

Well, I now know why the men who were doing some work in the cottage before Christmas, decided to take our vacuum bag out of the vacuum cleaner with them when they went: they had BROKEN it!

We came home from work the day they finished and began to start putting the house back in order, only to realize the vacuum wouldn’t work; we then discovered, that they had removed the bag and taken it with them. We have tried to find replacement bags, with no luck and we borrowed a vacuum off and on from a neighbour to get us by. But, my friends, I am embarrassed to tell you this, my house hasn’t seen a vacuum go over its floors in over a month.

I keep a clean house, so this has been driving me nuts! This past weekend we went shopping and after hitting one of the local markets, I finally found my vacuum bags.  I woke up yesterday morning, put on my best June Cleaver apron and pearls and decided to get to work! Mr. Michie put the bag in for me and plugged me in, so I could go, go, go.

As soon as we turned it on, there was a poof, a lot of smoke, a lot of dust and a high pitched squealing noise; we couldn’t even see each other through the haze in the kitchen.  So, we turned it off and ran to open the front door to get some fresh air in, looked at each other and then just had to laugh, because it was either that or cry! So, that is why they took the bag with them when they finished, they realized that they had broken it and there was no way for us to know until we were able to find replacement bags.

So, I shook out my apron, dusted off my pearls and turned to the internet. Thank goodness for Amazon! A new BAGLESS vacuum cleaner is now on its way to my little cottage and I will have a sparkling home once more!

A Trip to the Tate

I had the great fortune of leaving the cupboard for a little while on Wednesday and I got to accompany an Art trip to the Tate. It was a treat walking around with the students, getting to sketch some things in my sketchbook and taking as many photographs as I could.

I haven’t been to the Tate in quite awhile. Mr. Michie went on a school trip before Christmas and he inspired me to want to go again after such a long absence. However, they were hanging so many things that a lot of the rooms were closed, so I didn’t get a chance to see as much as I had hoped.

One piece I did see was by the conceptual artist Cerith Wyn Evans. Who had a stunning, ballroom size Venetian chandelier hanging in a room; that lit up very slowly and once warmed up the lights would flash on and off. It was so beautiful and yet surreal to see in white this room, the bold colours of the chandelier’s droplets and flowers were all that stood out, against the blinding light when the bulbs reached their highest power.

My minor in College,was Arts Management and one of the courses I took was a gallery class. One area we focused on, was how do people use the space they are in and interact with the space they are in.  I always think back to that class as I watch people in a gallery/museum.

There was no way around this chandelier it was so wide and hung so low it almost touched the floor. You couldn’t miss it. Yet, I stood against a wall and watched people breeze past it, give it a wide berth, as if there was nothing of importance to see, or, they would quickly glance at it and move along. Maybe its sheer size unnerved people, they felt it was too big to interact with, it isn’t as “simple” as standing in front of a painting on a wall. Who knows? It was just something that fascinated me.

I had a lovely day out and I think the students did as well, a lot of good ideas for their exam theme of “Similarities & Differences”. I just thought I would share a few of my favourite images from the day with you:

Theodore Von Holst, The Fairy Lovers, about 1840
Michael Ayrton, The Temptation of St. Anthony, 1942-3
Henry Fuseli, Titania and Bottom, about 1790
William Blake, The Book of Thel pl. 7, probably 1796
John Linnell, The Last Load, 1853
Cerith Wyn Evans, Chandelier

I picked up these two postcards as my treat. I thought they offered an interesting perspective on “Similarities & Differences”, so I am just going to pocket them away as an idea for a student in need:

{Self Portrait with Fried Eggs, Sarah Lucas, 1996 (left) Honeymoon Nude, John Currin, 1998 (right)}

Valentine’s Round-Up

Valentine’s Day is almost here and I have collected a few last minute ideas, recipes and sweetness from some of my favorite places to share with you. Click on the images below to be taken directly to the featured project:

Jenny B. Harris of Allsorts has done it again, with this cute Valentine’s Paper Angel. A fun project for your little ones to decorate your kitchen table with:

Serena of The Farm Chicks has created adorably wrapped chocolate brownie bites. A cute idea for the little Valentine Love Bugs in your life:

Eat, Drink, Chic has the most wonderful answer to staying in for Valentine’s. Amy Moss, has designed a DIY Valentine’s popcorn bucket to invite your Honey Bunny to spend a night snuggled next to you on the couch. You just have to provide the popcorn and the right movie:

The lovely Bridget, of Bake @ 350 has taken “bark” to a whole new level with her Sweet Heart Conversation Candy Bark. A great idea to hand out to your neighbours or any little Valentine’s fingers that might be around on the day:

The cute girls at One Charming Party have come up with simple yet effective idea. If you are stuck cooking on Valentine’s night, why not bring as many hearts into the mix as you can. These home made heart shaped pepperoni pieces add a cute flair to store bought pizza for your sweetie pie:

And, just in case you forgot to get a card head on over to Eat, Drink, Chic for some DIY printable Valentine’s cards and envelopes. You can never go wrong with polka dots!:

The Force is Strong

We stayed up the night of the Super Bowl to watch as much of the game as we could. But at about 1am we decided to cash it in and go to bed. I however, was still wide awake and followed the game from my macbook while snuggled underneath a mountain of blankets.

I have to say, the commercials are one of the things I really love to see, who doesn’t? Sadly, because of ad rights we don’t get to view the commercials in England. YouTube was hosting a site by adblitz that updated the commercials almost as quickly as they were played on everyone’s TV sets at home.

As Mr. Michie slept peacefully next to me I watched the commercials and when I saw this one, I almost woke him up. Almost. I know that one day when we have children, if we have a car that does this, Mr. Michie will be standing at the kitchen window car keys in hands to make our kid’s Star Wars dreams come true. Because if he had the Force, that would be his dream come true!

However, I think we will probably be more of a Luke Skywalker and Hans Solo kind of household.  The Force is strong in this one! Hmm. Yes!