Olive and Gourmando

This past summer Farmboy and I had the opportunity to drive up to Montreal to meet some friends, do a little site-seeing and go to a Coldplay concert. It was my first time to Montreal and what a treat! The Old World inspired architecture was a nice change of scenery from our bucolic Upstate New York digs… not to mention learning about the history of the area.

Our “in the know’ friends recommended that we try Olive + Gourmando in the Old City of Montreal for breakfast.  After a short walk from the business district we found ourselves in breakfast heaven. So many delicious choices; french pastries, fresh breads, baked goods and their memorable savory creations.

The ambiance was as delicious as the food with intriguing lighting and smells of buttery croissants and fresh coffee wafting through the air. (Yes, I said wafting. snicker.)

Farmboy and I ordered double Americanos to start the morning off with some rich coffee goodness. I chose the “Poached Egg on your Face” sandwich- a pressed panini made with ciabatta and filled with carmelized onions, aged Comte, confit tomatoes, speck and a cooked egg salad. Yowza. What a way to start the day!! Delicious!

So, when you find yourself in Montreal put Olive + Gourmando on your to-do list for breakfast. You will be so glad that you to-did. And don’t forget to…

My Daily Visitor

Topiary Teapot Now Available

One of my favorite designs. Classic, traditional with a nod to whimsy, this design is available on Notecards, Linen Items and Matted Prints at

This design is GORGEOUS on the Linen Guest Towels… picture it displayed in a pretty blue and white bathroom or as a Framed Print in a kitchen or powder room. My aunt collects teapots and displays them on a shelf in her kitchen… guess what she will be getting in the mail soon! Don’t tell…

Happy Fall… Happy Dance…

I’m updating my website today. Oh my, what an undertaking. I completely forget all of the ends and outs of the software… but I am planning a sale soon (woo hoo!) and I want to make sure all of my designs are available on the guest towels (hint, hint).

The Clothesline Festival was fabulous in spite of the fact that my sister and I had to hold the tent down in the wind/rain storm that blew through. No fun. Nothing was damaged, thankfully, and it seemed that most of the people that were put off by the forecast on Saturday did come to shop on Sunday. It was wonderful to make new friends and see familiar faces… I have the some of the NICEST customers!

Recently framed paintings and drawings for the show.

There was an exhibit at the gallery titled “In Company with Angels- Seven Rediscovered Tiffany Windows” – it was exquisite. After having read “Clara and Mr. Tiffany” this past summer- it was such a thrill to see some of the exhibition lamps that Susan Vreeland wrote about. If the exhibit comes to town near you… you must go see it! You’ll be glad that you did.

The kids are back in school. Whew. Sigh. Yippee. Can’t quite ever decide. I supposed its a bit of everything. The first week in September is always a challenge- prepping for the show, Labor Day weekend and back into the school routine. After two full weeks LaLa was home sick today with a cold and fever. My how quickly THAT begins. : (

We used to call the school bus “the big yellow dog” when I was growing up…

Our “little yellow dog” passed out in the yard after a walk and a swim at the pond.

I am embracing the peace and solitude of Fall. The dogs are happy to go on their daily walks and my body, mind and spirit are thumping their collective tails with gratitude too. I occasionally hear the Canadian geese flying over and am reminded that it will soon be time to dig out the coats, scarves and gloves.

My favorite sugar maple is starting to turn. It is one of the first and I feel the immediacy of soaking the color in before it’s gone.

The fact is- Summer wears me out. Does it you? Is there more gazpacho and salsa that really needs to be made? My food processor has gotten a better work out this summer than my body has and I’m ready to put that thing and the garden to bed.

The Black Krim, and Brandywine tomatoes were delicious this year!

… except there are those tulips, crocuses and lilies that I promise myself every year that I will plant more of when Fall rolls around.

It’s time for planting and painting. I’m excited… and doing a Happy Fall dance. : )

New Thank-You Designs for Cards

Whimsical or traditional…

I’ve got you covered! These designs are now available as boxed Thank You cards online at Click here for more info.

RedEnvelope’s Picnic Backpack

What a fabulous find!  Apparently picnic backpacks have been around for a while but they were new to me when I ordered this one for Farmboy as a romantic Father’s Day present. We were planning a trip to Montreal later in the summer and I was thinking ahead as we often travel with a basket of bread, cheese, jam and bottle of wine.

I liked it so much I purchased 2 more to give as gifts!

There are many different ones but for the price I liked the RedEnvelope backpack. The only change that I made was switching out the cloth napkins (very lightweight and kinda cheap) with some funky quality ones from home.

The kids and I have even used it for hiking nearby and carrying a picnic lunch. There is an insulated section to keep foods at the proper temp as well as a bread board, cork screw, bread knife, salt and pepper shakers and enough plates and utensils for four. Oh My!

So, if you don’t have one you should get one for those impromptu getaways or give one as a wedding or anniversary gift! They will love it.

What I Found in the Garden Today…

Ahhh. I do believe that Fall is in the air! The kids are back in school and I am finally back in the studio with uninterrupted time…yippee!

Our little kitchen garden has been as faithful as ever- bursting at the seams with tons of vegetable goodness. So happy to see a nice crop of fancy pumpkins-  just in time.

So much to blog about! I have a number of great Fabulous Friday Find products to share with you as well as garden trips, tips, recipes and of course, new artwork!! So stay tuned. : )

My little garden companion, Helen


Hi, I'm Michelle. I am an artist/designer specializing in unique topiary themed illustrations for the Home & Gardener. I live on a farm in Upstate New York with my husband, aka Farmboy, my two children affectionately known as "La La" and "the Bean" and a small petting zoo of other family members.


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