Thursday, 23 March 2017

Books.......an explaination

A question was posed on a friends blog......how do you treat your books?
 Well some would say not really well.
I am breaking a lot of rules here but I am being brutally honest, I lay them open on the page. 

However I NEVER turn a page down and crease the paper, that was drummed into me by my librarian father. 
That was the ultimate sin.....and what I am doing here was a close second.
My daughter is an avid reader and buyer of books so when I have run out of material I ask her what she has for me!

 And then I get to read some very eclectic titles. 
Note when I borrow books from other people I do not lay them open willy nilly. I am very respectful of books that have been entrusted to me. 
 I will grab whatever is handy to act as a bookmark.
This being a very sweet card from my husband. 
(must remember to take that out before handing the book back...)

This book is quite funny, as I know a few lazy folk. 
The story is patchy but well worth just sticking with it for the human observations. 

 Then there are the books that I would take with me on a desert island. 
I actually dont own a lot of books, I beg and borrow and then return them. Strangely I have a fabric library but have whittled down books to a select few. 
This was a story that was a theme through my childhood of searching for strong characters, those who struck out on their own and made their life independently of others who sought to control them. This was an outstanding book of its time published in 1963 with a female hero, who fought her Victorian father for the right to an education.

 
Whats more it was set in my hometown of Melbourne Australia!



 These are some of my other keepers. 

"Three Men On a Boat" makes me laugh out loud.
"Gormenghast" has the best descriptive passages of pure writing I have ever experienced. 
I think Mervyn was on strong substances when he wrote this, its bizarre but so well written. I identified with the hero being ambivalent to inheriting a title, it was just so angst ridden...but I saw his pain. I recommended it to a family member who hated the character, thought he was weak and soppy.
I was hurt, it felt personal. I really fall in deep with some books and sometimes its a risk to put it out there.....like a piece of your soul.
I can only imagine how writers feel after bad reviews. 

 "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" made me sob...which was awkward as I was reading it at 3.00am...as I do when I cannot sleep.
"The Dark Room" opened my eyes to the German experience of WWII. 
As a child of English parents I only heard one side. This is a great human perspective of what it was like to live as a German then and now. 

 "Wind in the Willows" my only friend as a preteen...I read and reread and reread....I never stopped returning wishing I too could escape on the river, find a true friend like Ratty....oh this book!
Its very broken and precious I have upgraded and bought a new copy but it doesn't feel like this book....this book holds my heart. 
 AA Milne a complete delight. 
Loved this poem
Loved Winnie The Pooh....he often made me laugh, and Eeyore....well I only have just understood him...and I adore his melancholy...

 I was given a lot of secondhand books as a child, read this a lot. Fairy Tales are actually quite gruesome and these were no exception!
Found these at my local thrift shop. They bought back memories of school reading. 
"cough, cough" I was actually a very advanced reader and had progressed from all set texts by age 8...was often just sent to the library and told to pick whatever I wanted! But I still have fond memories even so. 
 These texts are just so Australian...whereas my home reading was almost all English. 

 I hope you enjoyed this little foray into my books. 





Saturday, 18 March 2017

A new peace......a catch up.


Hello, .........calling from the other side.....if you listen to Adele's lyrics you will appreciate what I am trying to convey. 

I have been on the other side, just trying to put myself back after my many worlds were somewhat shattered. I have allowed myself a period of mourning.

I have lost many things, some physical, some spiritual, some things I never had but thought I did......and in my quiet place I saw how many other things I still could count as blessings.

Stuff is just stuff, I am not mourning stuff, stuff doesnt make you happy.....but it can be caught up in the grief.

But from the other side, I see calm and beauty and a new happy. 
I was fortunate to have people close and from afar reach out when I was low, people like Denice who has empathy and a kindness that just made me feel less alone. 
My friend Denice has a cool blog that I stumbled upon and we exchanged many an email. I felt safe telling her my story. 



One of the things we lost was my husbands father. 
(This is my husband by the way)
This is always a reflective time when we have to say goodbye to our parents. 
A few tears were shed and the occasion marked on my 365 circles project.
I will have a bittersweet reminder of this time and grateful that it is marked in such a personal way. 




Another anniversary was marked. I am blessed to have a strong silent and practical partner in my life. 
When we married and I saw him waiting for me in the church, a strong feeling of peace descended upon me, and a voice in my head said...."You are home now"....
This marriage is my home and it has kept me safe in all my turbulent times.

I had to mourn the loss of what I used to think of as my family of origin. 
Many events over many years culminated in a last outrageous act of disrespect, bullying and scapegoating. I had to walk away from and mourn a very dysfunctional family dynamic. 
Every time I hear stories of domestic abuse, I am only just now realising how toxic my family was. I accepted behaviours because no one told me that it was wrong. Besides are not parents supposed to nuture and protect?  
I am an intelligent woman but it took 55 years to realise how children can be programmed to accept abuse from the ones they look to for security......never judge anyone who is caught up in abusive situations.....it is complex......just be there to support and the sufferer will see their way out if kindness is shown and you listen and believe their story. 







So in my quiet place I sat and looked at the simple things that are around us. Saw beauty where ever it was. 
And I regained myself. 








 



So now my story emerges.........








Saturday, 4 June 2016

May peace be with you...and also with you





I am not even going to pretend, I was lagging behind greatly in May.
Suddenly I hit a slow patch, but not...I mean I was churning through projects in my head somehow it meant that my hands didn't catch up. 

It felt like I was a busy ant preparing for Winter, I dithered and darted trying to get things under control before the weather closed in. It is madness because I live in a climate that is quite benign but maybe I have ancestors that lived in snowed in cabins and it reverberates in my DNA. Who knows, I mean the one lesson this life has taught me is we think we know but we don't.



So there it is APRIL circles...and I have finally got around to showing them. I am keeping up to date and I will continue.
But it is quite the commitment, I actually got ten days behind in May. However I am nothing if not stubborn and if I say I will follow you, I will. Not a fair weather friend, even when I stumble I will pick up and be there. 



A close up of one little circle that I quite like







 And again....yep I was playing with 1/4 inch hexies and they found their way into the circles. Bit proud of that I am!

 This represents the 
25th of April which is Anzac Day.
 A day we remember all our service man and women who served in wars around the world. Represented by the Flanders Poppy.






 Vintage fabric scrap from a dress I made

A piece of Australiana





I found this fabric in the stash, cannot decide if those blobs are sheep or clouds. 
But I am determined that I do not repeat a fabric, and somehow I think I will find 365 pieces to use.....lol. If not I will just have to buy up to make sure. 

I was also back in April getting seeds in to grow some veggies. Now I am not working I cannot afford seedlings....not really.... but to be really effective and a proper gardener I thought I would try the seeds.

 Those specks of green are my French carrots. They are a little gourmet variety and I had to grow them inside first and then transplant. 
They are tiny, and as I fretted about them, my daughter quipped..."Mum they are FRENCH carrots, therefore they will make an entrance only when they feel like it" 
Had to laugh. They did make an entrance and they did feel like it obviously.


The first signs of my peas....there see...I found myself each day bum up head down searching the soil for any sign that things were growing. Its quite exciting.....do I need to get out more? Or am I just only now discovering what life is all about and channelling the curiosity that children find in the everyday. 

The broccoli had to be caged it is so wild and rampant. No of course not but it did keep the neighbourhood cat from digging it up.  

 Self seeded pumpkin. My compost always delivers some surprises.



Dreaming of Spain, I finished covering this pot with broken tiles and realised that quilting with scraps of fabric is a little similar.
Agree? 






And finally.........I was challenged to take a photo of nature each day for ten days. This was what I discovered in the cherry tomato punnet. 
I got the macro lens out and really nature in all its guises is a fascinating thing. 

Linking up with Audrey at Quilty Folk





Monday, 4 April 2016

March Circles and Life

Wowsers I thought time flashed by when I was tied to a quarterly accounting schedule in my past life.

I (in my past life) had to account to the government all the sales and tax collected less the depreciation, wages and purchases to arrive at a figure that we either owed or needed returned....don't ask me I was just the book keeper!!!! Anyhoos the months whizzed by and each quarterly reporting period seemed to get closer and closer together. 

Now I have this circle project to mark my days, and I am still loving it.







 31 days has March!











I am still managing to find the fabric each day that speaks to me, some days I will pass over a piece because its not doing it for me. Then the next day it will shine and that's the fabric for that day.
No rhyme no reason, just is.

I have subtle background differences and I will also make a conscious decision on them. I fully intend to have this quilt emerge in a chronological order. A lot like a diary. Good and not so great days. I have had a few. :-(


This was made from crumbs that I rescued from my scrap bin, I wanted to see how small I could go. I enjoyed tinkering but have realised that small crumbs can result in a muddy colour.
From a distance it just doesn't translate, it looks meh...muddy and confused. Lesson learned.

This was an extremely painful day, the day my sister sold our family home....somehow she neglected to tell me she was doing this.....a long story, and a very dysfunctional family. It hurt like he## but it has taught me that I have survived and I wont go back. This quilt will be testament to my personal journey.
I chose the words "kind" and "love", and the fact that now I have had "quite enough" of the bullying and abuse.


 This has been a long dry start to the year and rain is required.
 And I bought this fabric to make a shirt, never looked good as a garment and only really shines as a focal fabric. Again lesson learnt, but I do still love the design. Perfect for this project.



 Back in 2011, I started collecting strips for a project.....








 Tadahhhhh.
Now honey, could you please hold up this quilt so I can photograph it.
OK, step a little away from the door, more into the deck.

 Yeah that's good...I would have liked to close the screen door and position it somewhere else, but I was only given 2 mins to get this done.
 No, thanks honey, wont keep you much longer, looking good...1min 30 secs down.







 Thanks!!! and with that he runs back inside drops the quilt on the table and scampers back to his man cave....you have to time these things and act fast folks.

But I am mighty pleased with this creation, the planning took a long time, the execution was steady and there its done and done.



The left over strips, perfect for the dolls size postage stamp quilt, wall hanging...I may actually get that quilted sooner rather than later.


 You know I never see all the loose threads and lint until after I have taken the photo. I am blind to them, which explains my less than pristine home.

 Could not for the life of me get this shot in focus, may be the light, maybe my bad eyesight. But I loved this project and could see a full quilt made this way maybe.



 What I do in the evening, bright huh? Bought this to do on the plane when we were travelling now I must finish of course. Watching "House of Cards" on Netflix.
I know I must be the last person on the planet to be watching (OMG...can you believe that Frank Underwood!!! No don't spoil it for me I have just got to the bit where he is being nominated to VP. I am sorry if you have no idea about the side shoot of this conversation but I do love a good script and intelligent acting.)


The other slow burner project. The circle applique has given me confidence again to keep going. This project is exacting and gives me headaches trying to keep it all from wobbling. 

I am getting there but its not relaxing.


So I also decided to add this to the list.
Great progress is being made. 







There is more but I think we will leave it there for now, go make that cuppa tea now.