A Selection of Me

Michelle's LabyrinthI have had this idea in my head, since I first started my blog and Michelle’s Labyrinth, about creating a cover page with the words “Michelle’s Labyrinth” surrounded by my favourite things. I am not sure where the idea came from, maybe the last scene of the movie The Labyrinth where Sarah is back in her “real” bedroom and surrounded by all the creatures of The Labyrinth.Michelle's Labyrinth Or possibly the idea came from the print by Brian Froud where Toby (the baby in The Labyrinth) is surrounded by goblins. Well this idea has been brewing for a while, and although what I have created isn’t exactly what is in my head yet – I am happy with my first go!

I thought I better introduce you to some of the OOAK (One Of A Kind) collectibles I have and the artists behind them. I won’t expand too much on some of the artists as one day I would like to dedicate a blog post to each of them.Michelle's Labyrinth

First guy off the ranks is a gnome by by artist Girardi Mariano. I bought him in Las Vegas at the Venetian (Grand Canal Shoppe’s Venetian Resort Hotel) in a shop called Il Prato  http://www.ilpratousa.com/dolls.html).Michelle's Labyrinth This guy is quite special because I actually bought him on my wedding day – 25th March 2008! I also bought he Venetian mask at the same place. Doesn’t it look like one of the masks out of The Labyrinth!

There are a few creatures on my cover page by Conny Deylen (http://connydeylen.com/) . These snippets were written by Conny Deylen:

Michelle's Labyrinth Gauri the Female Mud Troll is not considered the most beautiful creature in Carmella’s realm. The male Mud Trolls know beauty when they see it. Whenever they see a female they are particularly attracted too they just naturally throw mud at her to get her attention. They more mud the more they are attracted. Gauri is in fact continually covered in real mud and just knows that she’s just a “Gorgeous Gal”. [March 2006]

Michelle's Labyrinth Ligeia The Mermaid is head mistress to a school of mermaids living near Wilsons Promontory. Their main job is to look after all the sea creatures in the area and to check on water pollution on behalf of FEPA (Fairy Environment Protection Authority). [March 2006]

Also by Conny Deylen is Fang the Dragon [July 2007], another mermaid and LadyHawk the fairy born the 25th Day of April 2005 in The Fairy Dell [Register of Magical Births]. I named LadyHawke after the movie Lady Hawke starring Matthew Broderick and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Michelle's Labyrinth Michelle's Labyrinth Michelle's Labyrinth

Michelle's Labyrinth I bought this Steampunk doll from Supanova a couple of years ago. I believe a local Western Australia girl made her. Here is a website I found that shows how to make them!http://makezineblog.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/steampunk-softies-marveletta.pdf

Mad Hatter is by NatashaMichelle's Labyrinth Morgan – I think I have shown a picture of him before taken by Natasha Morgan. I took this photo :) I absolutely love Natasha’s work – please check out her Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Natasha-Morgan/148807718484271?fref=ts) or her Etsy shop (https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/NatashaMorgan).

Michelle's LabyrinthSap Dancer is by the famous Wendy Froud – wife of Brian Froud. Did I say famous? Well you ALL know someone she created – Yoda for the 1980 film Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back! So yes – I am a VERY lucky girl to have Sap Dancer in my collection :)  (Photo is from AFA gallery (http://afanyc.com/ – my photo edited was quite terrible on my cover page version!)

Michelle's Labyrinth The Fairy Godmother is by Tony Rice. This is a 12 inch mixed media sculpture that was inspired by a painting by Brian Froud (http://www.elfwood.com/~scoundrel). I’ve also included Brian Froud’s print The Faery Godmother so you can see what inspired Tony Rice – how lucky was I to find this sculpture! Michelle's Labyrinth

 

 

Michelle's Labyrinth I do not want to forget Hoggle from The Labyrinth. He is a magnet made by Bronwyn Frazier – “Oh don’t act so smart. You don’t even know what an oubliette is.”  (http://www.eyefeather.com/hogglemagnet.htm)

Of course cakes are a part of my labyrinth, so I wanted to include them in the cover page too. I hope you like the ones I selected. I also snuck in a Brian Froud book – Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairy Book. And unfortunately I cannot remember where I got the red mask from…

The rest of the characters are not OOAKs – are you able to name them? And are you able to guess who else I have in my collection?

Michelle's Labyrinth Coverpage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas 2013 – Part 1

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and festive season. I can’t believe that its been exactly a month since Christmas; its been just over 2 months since I wrote a blog post; and its now 11 months until next Christmas! Hubbie thought I might get some adverse reactions about mentioning next Christmas, but I love Christmas, so its only 11 months away and counting!

I know not everyone celebrates Christmas, for those that don’t you are under no obligation to read this post and I’ll be back onto other types of cakes soon! For those that do celebrate Christmas – what does it mean to you? For me it means a lot of things – which is probably why I love it so much. It means a great excuse to catch up with friends; it means spending time with family; it means eating lots of yummy food; it means listening to Christmas music and watching Christmas movies; it means Christmas cards, Christmas lights and decorations, Santa and even pressies! For my hubbie Christmas means being wined and dined and lots of social events. In 2012 I didn’t attend one Christmas party because I wasn’t working, this year I attended too many (especially with every else that I had planned for December) and even ended up giving one a miss – and I only attended about half as many as hubbie did!

I realise Christmas originated to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ by Christians and some people dislike what it has become (e.g. Santa Claus and presents) and blame commercialisation. Christmas, like most things, is what you make of it. The pastor at the church where we make cards said that family, friends, food, presents are all nice things at Christmas, but the most important thing about Christmas is that it celebrates Jesus Christ and all he did for us. However for all that are non-Christians, I believe Christmas signifying family, friends, goodwill and compassion are wonderful. In our busy lives we make the extra effort to take this one day off a year and spend it with loved ones. If that is what Christmas means, how could it be bad?

Michelle's Labyrinth

Leading up to Christmas I try to catch up with friends and this year I was lucky to be visited by one of my older friends from university and two of her sisters (she was living in London and I hadn’t seen her for 2 years; she is now living back in Sydney). I am usually pretty organised with presents, however I am shocking at giving out Christmas cards! I think about it in October and then again in November, then next thing you know it is Christmas Eve so I am scrambling to wrap pressies and write cards for anyone I am seeing Christmas Day! Then Christmas Day is entirely left for catching up with family and eating scrumptious foods!

My Christmas Day is made up of having brunch at my parents house. Mum cooks up a full English breakfast – eggs, fried bread, bacon, black pudding, sausages, mushrooms, fried tomatoes and baked beans! Oh, champagne and orange juice too! Unless we are travelling, it is the only time of year we have all of this – the only time of year we have black pudding! I have only missed one Christmas breakfast ever and that was in 2011, and that was a sad Christmas Day for me. It just wasn’t Christmas without Mum’s breakfast and seeing Mum and Dad.

Then on Christmas evenings we alternate between going to hubbie’s parents or going to my extended family gathering and seeing all of my Aunts and Uncles. If we are spending the evening with my family, then ham, turkey/chicken & cranberry sauce, pork and apple sauce, coleslaw, Christmas pudding and Pavlova are on the menu. All those delicious foods mean Christmas to me. I know they mean something to my cousins as well and I have heard a bit of whinging if the pork crackling doesn’t crackle!

When we were growing up Mum used to cook a full Christmas dinner on Boxing Day. Now cooking a turkey and all the trimmings is a big ask on Boxing Day in Australia, because the temperatures are usually soaring. I know a lot of Australians have adopted seafood as their Christmas dinner, but both my parents are from the U.K. so I guess the more traditional Christmas dinner stuck. With my sisters and I moving out and starting our own families, it got harder and harder for all of us to be able to make our family Christmas dinner and it has dwindled away. But I remember clearly all the trimmings  that accompanied our turkey – cranberry sauce of course, bacon was draped over the turkey and the turkey was stuffed, gravy, chipolatas, pork and apple sauce (for bigger turnouts), roast potatoes, pumpkin (sweet potato in later years), broad beans (yuck), beer soaked brussel sprouts (maybe 2 made my plate in sufferance!) and Yorkshire puddings! Dessert was brandy soaked Christmas pudding and we were always excited to see the blue flame as Mum brought the pudding in. And to accompany the pudding was brandy sauce, custard and in later years brandy cream! Mmmmm…. Christmas :)Michelle's Labyrinth

Christmas this year was having breakfast at Mum and Dad’s and it was the first year in a few years that both my sisters and I were there. That evening hubbie’s parents came over for dinner – we usually visit them, but because we were flying out to the U.K. the day after Boxing Day, they offered to come up. I made a Margaret Fulton Christmas dinner – turkey breast with a raspberry sauce, honeyed carrots, green beans with almonds, chipolatas and caramelised potatoes. Then for dessert I turned to Nigella Lawson’s Italian Christmas Pudding Cake – which was mouth-watering if I am allowed to say that!

Michelle's Labyrinth Michelle's Labyrinth

Every year my Mum makes a ChristmasMichelle's Labyrinth Christmas Cake cake and she still makes it now and Dad is usually eating it with lunch until Easter! In 2012 I made my first Christmas cake, but didn’t end up eating it until my birthday! Mum’s Christmas cake is a rich fruit cake covered in marzipan and royal icing and I love it!

This year I made a few cakes relating toMichelle's Labyrinth Christmas in cake decorating class, which is what Part 2 of this post will be about. But I have 4 cakes to show you now. The first three I made together and they were all gifts! One was a thank you to our cleaner, another was for a friend’s Mum and the third was for my youngest sister who loves my fruit cake. I am a bit upset I forgot to get an individual photo of my sister’s cake because it was the unique one with red and green glitter – there was a shortage of silver glitter because of Christmas!

Michelle's Labyrinth Michelle's Labyrinth

When I was making these cakes I had the ribbon and glitter and knew I wanted to make some royal icing and have it falling like snow/icicles. But other than that I had no idea what I was going to decorate them with. In cake decorating class we had made lots of fondant ornaments and I had some left. There was no way for me to attach the decorations to the side of the cakes with the icicles and I tested positioning them standing on top (with some fondant behind them keeping them up) and I thought they looked pretty good. I hope you agree :)

Michelle's Labyrinth

On Boxing Day we had my family, hubbie’sMichelle's Labyrinth parents and one of his aunties over for lunch. Because we were going away we were going to miss school holidays and not get to see everyone for a while, so we thought why not have them over for lunch since they were all in Perth. So I made a small Christmas cake for Boxing Day. It was one of the first cakes I made myself that needed dowels in it – so the bottom layer wouldn’t sag under the weight of the second layer. However I didn’t do a very good job because it was the leaning tower of Christmas Tree by the time it reached the table.Michelle's Labyrinth

I’ll write more about the Christmas Tree in Part 2 of the blog because I made it in cake decorating class. But because we were going away and because our puppies are still naughty and chew things, we didn’t put up a Christmas Tree this year – so this was my Christmas Tree, which is being ogled by my beautiful niece and nephew and being guarded by A Christmas Carol peg dolls made by Natasha Morgan!

Michelle's Labyrinth

I do hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and please let me know what Christmas means to you!

 

 

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