Author Archives: jennifermichie

Colour Scheme

It’s not always fun to be practical. I’m in the realm of pumpkins, hot apple cider and walks through the woods that are slowly turning a delicious golden and red hue. However, I do have to put my practical hat on because October is just around the corner. In fact, October will be here this weekend and I don’t have that much longer to design this year’s Christmas card so it can be sent off to the printers.

Last year, I did a full watercolour winter scene. The year before that a Christmas in London theme. In previous years I’ve also created a collage and used a photograph of a winter wonderland that I designed. This year, I decided I wanted to keep it simple. I toyed with a lot of ideas, sketching them out and then scribbling them back out. But, I’ve finally decided on what I want to do.

It’s going to have a 1950’s/60’s design flare. Almost everything will have been created out of basic shapes that I’m reinterpreting.

Above is the current colour scheme, there is still some tweaking to do, but I’m very happy with where this project is going. It’s always nice to see an idea come to fruition.

Here’s a sampling of some of my previous cards. Goose Girl & Foxy managed to get onto one of them:

Christmas Card 2013

The Anatomy of a Christmas Card

A New Years Card

Goodbye, Summer!

Goodbye, Summer! Hello, Fall! Today is the Autumn Equinox and it truly felt like fall on my morning run. It was 46°F when I left the house; the sun was streaming through the leaves, the ground was still wet from yesterday’s rain and there was a mist rising off the fields.

The earth was littered with almost neon yellow leaves and the apples are now full and lush on the branches. The grasses around the pond are beginning to turn varying shades of a chocolatey velvet brown. All of the webs that were spun last night, were glistening with morning dew. It was glorious!

Next week the weather is supposed to turn warmer again and I just want it to stay cool and crisp. I’m ready to live in a hut in the middle of a field of pumpkins. I’m ready for all things fall, I mean it is almost October!

This weekend we have errands to run and we need to finish off planning our weekly menu. But, I’m hoping for some downtime in there, where we stroll through the woods, breath autumn in, in all of her golden glory and where we drink coffee and listen to music while laying in a heap on the couch.

There always seems to be a particular vibe to summer. This summer I was definitely in a 70s mood and among other things, we listened to Bob James’, Touchdown album a lot! We had this record playing almost non-stop. I don’t care that it sounds cheesy, cheesy is good! Who doesn’t love a good saxophone?

So here’s to the beginning of Autumn. And, here’s to a wonderful weekend!

A Surprise!

I walked to meet Mr. Michie on his way home from school yesterday evening. We were discussing how each of our day’s had gone, when he suddenly stopped in the middle of the street and told me to open up his backpack.

I reached into the peppermint stripe interior and felt a thick cardboard envelope. I pulled it out; slowly opened it and inside was a cookbook. Now, I have a bit of an obsession with cookbooks. I don’t cook from all of them; some I use for inspiration, some are vintage and were too good to pass up with the pictures they contained and some are like my bible, I’ve returned to them again and again.

In reading an article that Nigella Lawson wrote this weekend, he discovered Roast Chicken and Other Stories, by Simon Hopkinson and knew that although I would probably not make deep-fried calves’ brains, or roasted lambs’ kidneys; I would be enthralled with other recipes within the book.

He was absolutely correct! What’s even better than the recipes are Hopkinson’s notes and stories that accompany a chapter or recipe. I’m already working on our weekend menu and I think a recipe or two will definitely be featured out of this book.

I’m very a lucky girl to get surprises, especially when they are cookbooks!

Nostalgia

I don’t know why and I know that it just isn’t me, because everyone I’ve spoken with today has said they feel as if this has been the longest week ever!

The woods were so quiet this morning. I only passed one other person out with her two Jack Russells. The sunbeams were distilled through the leaves, moving in and out as the breeze shook the branches; little tracks of light making the path glow. I could see my breath. It was a perfect autumnal morning.

I love the way the light changes this time of year. The shadows become longer. The light becomes whiter. My Nana’s dining room was at the corner of the house, so light filtered in from the front and the sides. Near one of the windows in the corner she had a Christmas cactus that sat on a tall wooden plant stand.

The afternoon autumnal light would be so pure the cactus almost appeared as it was glowing. The light would move across the dining room table and come to rest on the opposite wall. I would sit at the kitchen table watching the light dance about. It always made me think of Cranberries, by Andrew Wyeth.

We hardly ever turn on the TV, but last night the Mercury Prize Awards were on and Mr. Michie wanted to see some of the acts perform. Sampha, won the prize and we were both very happy with the judges decision. He played, “(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano”.

I have no idea why, because there was not a piano in the dining room, or even in my Nana’s house for that matter. But, this song makes me think of her home. I suppose it speaks to me because her house knew me well.  I used to clean for her and my other Grandmother for pocket money. I was usually saving up to buy Christmas presents. Her walls heard my voice, her furniture knew the touch of my hand. Her stove was incredibly fun to cook on, this perfect 1960s avocado green beauty. I think this song makes me feel nostalgic. The changing of seasons makes me feel that way as well, excited for what is to come and sad to let the previous season slip away.

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Easy Breezy

I woke up this morning at 3:23am to our curtains blowing and then slamming back into the window screen. The wind was so strong, it’s still strong.

I was bleary eyed as I got up and closed the window. I went downstairs to check on everything and peek out at our plants. I’ve had to do a search an rescue in the wee hours of the night before when the wind has carried one of our pots out into the middle of the street. All was safe. I headed back upstairs and curled up in bed. I laid there for another hour before I fell back to sleep, just listening to the wind whip around the cottage.

It’s gorgeously sunny today and I’m indoors waiting on that wonderful package to arrive. It never arrived yesterday because although three people told me it was on a delivery truck, the fourth person said, “Nope! It’s still sitting at the depot! What would you like me to do with it?” Oh, lucky me!

So this morning, I’m taking it in my stride, even though I’m annoyed I can’t do my morning run. Obviously the Universe just wanted me to wait till today to receive this parcel. So, I’m drinking coffee, listening to Father John Misty and reading e-mails.

I’ve got laundry to fold and a marinara sauce to start this morning too. We’re making a Friday night dinner for some friends of ours who have a lot going on at the moment. So, the pressure of cooking dinner is one thing they can take off of their plate and instead feast on homemade lasagna, bread and chocolate cake with my Nana’s mocha frosting.

Here’s to Wednesday, we’re almost there!

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It’s Not Wednesday

I woke up this morning thinking it was Wednesday. So, I wasn’t really off to great a start when I realised it was only Tuesday.

It is cool, bordering on chilly and gorgeously sunny outside and I’m stuck indoors waiting for a package to arrive that was supposed to have arrived yesterday. I’ve been assured it is on the delivery truck making its way to my front door. But I don’t quite believe it, since this process of trying to get it delivered has been going on for about a week now. In the grand scheme of things, I know this isn’t a big deal, there are bigger deals going on in the world right now, then worrying about a package. But, in my own little world, I find it frustrating to be stuck indoors on a day like this.

I’m using the time to my advantage and catching up on some paperwork and articles that I have been meaning to read. Getting laundry done and listening to music.

One article I read related to British Pathé. They were a company who created newsreels and documentary films from 1910-1970. Their work is now digitised and you can watch them online. There are a number of their films that completely enchant me. The first film reel of theirs that I truly remember seeing was “The House That Jack Built”. It was projected on the wall of an exhibition I attended on British Folk Art. It was so very British and absolutely hypnotic!

This article was specifically about their “how it’s made” film series. While I’m waiting for a knock at my door, I thought I’d share with you three of my favourites. I especially love how thermoses are made. I’ve got my eyes peeled for an old thermos to make something out of. I’ll know the right one when I see it! These films are fascinating, charming and jolly good fun. I just adore the clothes and the hair. Especially the blue dress the Wedgwood lass is wearing with her hair piled high (she’s painting a coffee pot)!

Enjoy!

Woo-Hoo!

Woo-Hoo! We officially went back to school this week and we survived. This is cause to celebrate and relish the coming weekend and all that it holds!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, wherever you may be. x

P.S. I have no idea who these party animals are, but I think it’s a HOOT! that they’ve packed their cocktails in what appears to be a large pickle or jam jar for a backseat libation.

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The Space In-between

We’re in that strange part of every season, where one season is slowly slipping in to the next. Our days are starting to feel more autumnal. The mornings are cooler, followed by rainy afternoons and the leaves are beginning to metamorphose into brilliant shades of crimson red, gold and tangerine orange. The shadows are transforming too and the quality of the light is altering. It’s getting darker sooner. Gone are our summer nights of light till almost 10pm. I’m okay with that, I welcome new seasons with open arms. But, right now I feel stuck in the space in-between.

I see my woods change every day as I walk through them. I use them as my seasonal barometer. There are bales of hay in all the fields, slowly drying out. The air smells different. As refreshing as I find it, moving from one space into the next, this space in-between is making me antsy lately. After a few cool days here and there, I’m ready for sweater weather, for hot chocolate nights and pumpkins everywhere. I’m not ready to have two days of being bundled up and then back to shorts and t-shirts and then back to being bundled up again.

Maybe it’s where I am personally right now. I’m ready for some major changes and we are working hard to make those goals happen. I’ve also teamed up with a marvellous woman on a project we are embarking on and we are slowly and surely finding our feet and picking the right route for us. I’m ready for the ball to roll a little faster. But life is going at the speed it is supposed to be for me right now and I have to accept that.

Autumn will come entirely into her glory when she is ready. I will simply have to take a page out of Mother Nature’s book and be patient. To just enjoy where I am right now, to enjoy this Indian Summer we are in. To look at this time as a renewal and a refresh before we fully move in to leaves crunching under foot, crispy apple scented air and the smell of wood fires permeating the world.

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