"an elegant tapestry of quotations, musings, aphorisms, and autobiographical reflections" (James Atlas)

Monday, January 26, 2015

More book stuff

Thought I'd post a bit more about some books I've read recently. Most were on my Kindle, but a friend gave me a REAL book to read, called "First Impressions" by Charlie Lovett. I must say I really enjoyed this one. It's a story that switches from Jane Austen's world to that of Sophie, a current-day bookaholic, and is a bit of a whodunnit. The premise is quite clever, whereby the authorship of "Pride and Prejudice" is questioned, and all the action flows from there. The ending is a bit too fairy tale, and the characters could use some development, but overall, it quite satisfactorily filled an afternoon.
I've said before that I love reading Donna Leon's books, and discovered one I hadn't read. This one was not an Inspector Brunetti one, but a separate novel. It is called "The Jewels of Paradise", and revolves around Catherine, a lecturer returning to her home town of Venice to solve a family dispute over an inheritance. Her research takes us into the world of baroque opera, castrati, and tales of old Venice, and leads her into unexpected dangers. Most enjoyable as always and very well researched.
The other one I thought I'd mention is "Singapore Black", the first part of a trilogy by William L. Gibson following the (mis-)adventures of his sleuth, Detective Hawksworth, Chief Detective Inspector of the Singapore police back in 1892. Gibson's portrayal of Singapore at this time (when it still was a British crown colony) is very detailed and shows a good understanding of the intricacies of race relations then. The story is also very entertaining, a history thriller at its best, what with warring Chinese gangs, sinister goddesses, and the long overdue monsoon all mixed in. Can't wait to read the second book, "Singapore Yellow", out soon I hope.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Well, just when I got some mojo back for quilting, the sewing machine gives up the ghost! I had started a new project, a small Amish style quilt, when the bobbin winder got stroppy. Happily, at the same time, I found a new creative  art form on Pinterest and YouTube. There are lots of  "how to" videos about art journals, in particular by Einat Kessler, a very talented lady. I have several of the materials needed to get started, so will attempt an art canvas soon. Serendipity helped, with the discovery of a new shop in Sunbury that carries a lot of the materials needed, such as paints, stamps, stencils etc. (it's at the bottom end of O'Shannessy Street, if I remember correctly, it's called 'Bella Carta'). They have classes, and on Monday, I shall attend a class about using Gesso. My task today is finding all the bits and pieces I've collected over time that may be useful for such a project.
I've finally taken some time to get more acquainted with my new big lens, so stand by for some photos  of wildlife this year. By wildlife I mean rabbits, roos and birds in the backyard, but I'll be heading for a zoo sometime to play a little more.
I might also join Cherryl's 'Friday night with friends' blog list. It's nice to see what others are working on, in a variety of art and craft forms.
Finally, I'm looking forward to our weekly and monthly quilt group happenings. Which reminds me, I'd better get on to that 'Blues' challenge!

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Old Picture Challenge 2015: SUMMER

Alsha's Space has a new challenge, the Old Picture Challenge for 2015. Thought I might go along with that, as it gives us a chance to post photos lingering in old albums and on old discs. The link is http://alshasspace.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/the-old-picture-challenge.html and everybody can participate.
The first theme for this month is SUMMER, and the first photo is from last summer, when we visited the bay in February. These bathing huts along the bayside always evoke thoughts of summer, beach, and water for me. Their owners paint them in fun colours and motifs, and they are a pretty sight along Melbourne's beaches.

The second photo is from Ocean Grove Beach, again last summer, with the surf school out in full force. Nothing nicer than sitting on the beach in summer, watching the surfers' endless routine of paddling, standing up, surfing, and crashing!
Finally, I've added this one which I took just the other day, and which I think shows the fun to be had in summer, at the beach, wearing light clothes and just feeling happy.