Monthly Archives: May 2011

Seven Years

Today, I have been married to Mr. Michie for 7 years and I am still loving every minute of it! We started off our anniversary with a bang yesterday and went into central London, to just roam where ever our feet took us.

We ate lunch, spent some time at the National Gallery, wandered through Covent Garden and picked up our tickets for an evening of Vivaldi by Candlelight at St. Martin in the Fields.

It was a wonderful day! We ate dinner at Cha Cha Moon, a new Chinese restaurant we wanted to try off Carnaby Street. It was very authentic, a lot of Chinese people were in there eating and that, to me, is always a good sign. Their dumplings were too die for!

Then we headed over to St. Martins just before they opened their doors. The Church was wonderfully cool and candles were lit everywhere, it was very romantic. The orchestra came out and and played a series of pieces in the first act, one being Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no. 3. Which is very special to us as we walked down the aisle to this piece after we were married.

My parent’s instilled a true love of all kinds of music into my sister and I. We both played with a symphony and even had the opportunity to travel through Europe playing with them as well. My sister is a star violist and I am an oboist. I find that having played an instrument, I am so much more appreciative of what the performers are going through.

The second half of the concert was the entirety of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and as night began to permeate around us the glow of the candlelight became more heightened. We had the great fortune to see the lovely Kerenza Peacock play her first concert since she injured her wrist. It was outstanding. As her bow struck the first note, I was beyond moved.

What a sight to behold. Music that has been played for centuries to Kings and Queens and we had the opportunity to see it played within the hallowed walls of St. Martins in the Fields by an outstanding orchestra. The entire audience was on the edge of their seats, there was a true electricity in the air and I found that more than once I was holding my breath. How lucky we are to have had the opportunity to see and hear this!

We finished off the evening with a few little surprises from Laduree. They have opened a new store in Covent Garden and since I can’t go to Paris at the moment, at least one of my favorite things from Paris can come to me!

So, Mr. Michie, here’s to seven more years on the roller-coaster of marriage and may they be as wonderful as the first seven!

The Enchanting Lotte Reiniger

Right before Christmas, one of the Art teachers in my department, decided that she would have the students create shadow puppets as a nice little wind down to the week that we were breaking up for the holidays. I love shadow puppets, there is something very magical about them!

She showed the students a video by Lotte Reiniger, so they could get an idea of what kind of final outcome they were aiming for and to see how the process works in actuality. I had never seen these Reiniger videos before and I fell in love with them. They are beautifully crafted and absolutely enchanting.

She was a true visionary, ahead of her time in innovation and even beat out Walt Disney in the designing of and use of a multi-plane camera to achieve distinctive visual effects. She was filmed to show her working through her creative process and it is truly astonishing to see how quickly she sketches and expertly cuts the puppet she is creating.

As a group of digital Art students are now working on a similar shadow puppet project, it made me think of these bewitching videos, so I thought I would share them with you! There is such a sweetness to them and they are without a doubt, timeless interpretations of beloved fairy tales! Enjoy!

(Still images courtesy of the Animation Archive)

A New Project

I have a blanket that I am planning on crocheting, but with the craziness of school that has happened yet. The last time I was home, I picked up this:

I have done a few dry runs with my “practice” yarn and I finally decided on which pattern to use; a granny square with a circle center:

I decided to start small, to get warmed up again for designing and creating my granny hexagon blanket. I plan on turning this yarn into a very happy “Rainbow Brite” coloured scarf with a heather grey scalloped border.

So stay tuned, I am getting my crochet needle ready to start this project and since next week is half term and we plan on keeping things low key, it should be a wonderful time to begin crocheting this mini project!

The Princess & The Pea

The Princess & The Pea is one of my favourite fairytales. I really have no idea why. I think mostly it was for the fact that I loved seeing the illustrations of all the beautiful assortment of mattresses piled one on top of the other, so high that you needed a ladder to climb to the top. The mattress were always covered in polka dots and roses and stripes and stars and I was always amused by that, as my mattress looked nothing like that. I also thought the idea that she could feel the pea under all those mattress was funny as well, however, as of late, I am beginning to think that feeling one little pea wouldn’t be such a bad thing!

I haven’t been sleeping very well for awhile now. We have a very old mattress and it is causing me to fall apart like an old lady. I can feel more than a “pea”! I can feel springs and boards and lumps and bumps when I sleep. I stripped the bed the other week and in looking at it, it reminded me of a 3D geographical map with a lot of mountains and valleys. Not what you want your little oasis of happiness to look like. I love my bed, so I want to be comfortable in it!

Since Mr. Michie isn’t sleeping so well either, we realized that is was definitely time to make a change and to stop thinking about making one. So, we decided to go mattress shopping. I did my research and we knew what we wanted, we went to the store and were helped by the nicest man named Henry.

He was from Africa and had the most exotic accent, I loved listening to him speak. We told him of our old aches and pains and that we wanted a medium to firm mattress. Well, he took wonderful care of us, we walked out with a new mattress being delivered this Saturday and two new pillows as well! We even got a hug from him when we left! The company ranks their mattresses on a scale of 1 to 5; 5 being the “softest” and 1 being “orthopaedic”. We must really be getting old because the bed that felt the best to us was a number ONE! We just had to laugh!

I will truly feel like a princess on this mattress as I will not notice Mr. Michie roll about, since he is quite a fidget, I can just lay still in perfect blissful sleep! So be gone, peas and springs and feathers and lumpy mattresses, I am ready for sweet dreams!

(Image by Tim Walker)

Crayola Totem Poles

I was creating a sign today to describe the artwork that was being put on display for a particular class and in searching for a totem pole image, I came across this:

I think these are just amazing, the time that must have gone in to creating these lilliputian sized artifacts. They were sculpted by an artist named, Diem Chau, and I love their rainbow happiness. What a true little piece of art. The personality that they each appear to have for something so minuscule is quite astounding.

The girl reminds me of the soap carving that Boo Radley made of Jem and Scout in “To Kill A Mockingbird”. They have that air of vintageness about them with the styling of the girl’s hair and dress. Maybe these would be the modern version of what Boo would carve?

The smell while carving them had to be heaven. I love the smell of a fresh pack of crayola crayons, that waxy scent that is distinctive to them. It is not the aroma of a candle or of any other crayon brand.

There was nothing better in the world when you were little, then when you got a new pack of crayons and a coloring book and your entire afternoon was spent lying on your belly deciding which color you would pick for the ballerina’s slippers. Oh, to be little again!

(Images found here)

Groundhog Day

Yesterday was just like Groundhog Day the movie. For those of you who haven’t seen it, Bill Murray stars as a news reporter sent to cover the events of Groundhog Day and watch with everyone else if the groundhog sees his shadow or not. Through a series of events he keeps living the same day over and over and over again as he is given the chance to figure out what he really wants and make that day and his life “right”.

With all the problems blogger has had over the past 48 hours, it has felt like Groundhog Day. I have had things that I have read in Google Reader that I looked at on Wednesday, that suddenly disappeared, only to show up again late last night, in twos or threes.  I seem to be seeing the same things over and over again. I myself, have had posts disappear and then reappear, but the comments have vanished and for that I am sorry.

The lovely Miss Holly left a comment on my Thursday post, which suddenly reappeared again, but will not let me repost her comment. All of you are always so kind to write to me, so I am posting her comment here:

Yea! I love #11!!!! I love being nice to people…..it gives me great pleasure…
Thank you as always for your comments. Since, I am not sure that this will even work today, I will not write more, I am going out to enjoy the sunshine with Mr. Michie and run a few errands!
I hope all of you have a lovely weekend! Jennifer