Just for something different this post is not about books. It’s about patchwork and cross stitch, although I’m sure there are heaps of books on the subject. I wish I could say that I’m an expert at arts and crafts but I’m not. I can’t even sew a straight seam! Last year I enrolled in a class to make a quilt. The class was for 5 hours and was called “Slash and Sew”. Optimistically I was expecting to sew the entire top of a quilt in five hours. Here is a picture of what I achieved in that time:

Quilt in Progress

and that was with a fair bit of assistance from the tutor. Needless to say I came home from the class, stuffed my part made quilt into the wardrobe in what used to be my younger son’s bedroom and haven’t done any more since.

Lately, however, I have been following a blogger whose enthusiasm for quilt making and other crafts has made me actually want to get going and do some more. Here is an example of one of her beautiful  quilts:


One of GnomeAngel’s lovely quilts

GnomeAngel has even inspired me to start on a new piece of cross stitch. It’s been quite a few years since I did any cross stitching and I have another confession to make. I have had a work in progress (WIP) which has been languishing in the linen press for more years than I care to remember. So many years in fact that the needle I left in the fabric had begun to rust. I can now proudly announce that my WIP is now complete!!! Now all it needs is framing, plus a little clean up beforehand.

My eyesight, I’m afraid, isn’t what it used to be, and I have had to resort to using one of those magnifying thingies. It’s a bit awkward to use but I’m getting used to it.

Now that I’ve finished my “Welcome” cross stitch I have given myself permission to begin my next project, even though the quilt is still a WIP. This will be a cross stitch sampler called “The 2013 Monthly Woodland Sampler”, from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. Since it’s February already and I haven’t started January yet, I’d better get a move on!

I hope to be back soon.



I can’t believe I started writing this post last June!!! Consequently it’s extremely out of date and basically needs to be rewritten. I even had to alter the title. Both the book groups I belong to used to meet on Wednesdays, one in the afternoon and the other in the evening. The day group now meets on Thursday afternoon once a month. Last week we discussed A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, who also wrote The Kite Runner. Set in Afghanistan over the past forty years it is a novel focusing on the lives of two women, Mariam and Laila, and their struggle for survial during the most horrendous of times. I would highly recommend this one.

We finally have our own library in the town where I live. After sitting there almost ready for quite some time it opened on the first Saturday last May. I have to say I don’t really like the external look but the inside is really lovely. Very light and airy. Having our own library also gives our book groups a place to meet.

Happy reading!


Time to ‘fess up. I have an obsession. I just can’t help it. Nearly every time I go to a blog and it looks interesting I have to sign up, just in case I’m missing out on something that everyone else in the world knows about and they haven’t told me. There are a few that I read regularly but quite a lot of  emails pop into my inbox every day and sit there until there are so many they get deleted en masse. In my search for sites to help my business or keep my motivation levels up I have allowed myself to be swamped. I Google, I jump from page to page, from link to link.  But how does one select the best? That’s the twenty million dollar question. If anyone out there has the answer please let me know! That is all.

Until next time.


Back again and less than 24 hours since my last post.  This must be a record. Anyway, I forgot to add the book I received for Christmas to my list of recently read books.

Rare: A Life Among Antiquarian Books, by Stuart Kells, details the lives of Kay and Muriel Craddock. It tells how they have become among the most successful and well respected antiquarian booksellers, not only in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia where their shop is located, but throughout the world. As Geoffrey Blainey wrote in the foreward “Rare chronicles the social history of the book trade in the second half of the twentieth century – when antiquarian bookselling emerged as a recognisable profession. ” As well as being a great read, the book was very informative for me.

Part 10 – 2012 NEW YEAR, NEW LOOK

Happy New Year to you, and I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas with those close to you. On impulse I decided on a change of look for the blog, for the new year. Whether it stays like this or not who knows. Tomorrow I may decide to have a different look altogether.

Have you been fitting in lots of relaxing reading time over the holiday period? I hope so. If there has been anything outstanding please let me know as I’m always looking for new titles.

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay is a novel I read late last year, one on my book group’s list. The two main characters in the book are Sarah of the title, and Julia Jarmond a modern day journalist. Sarah was a child, one of the many thousands of Jews in Paris rounded up by the French police on the 16th July 1942 and then transported to Auschwitz death camp. Julia is assigned to write a story on based on this event, and through her investigations, much of Sarah’s past is revealed. Well worth reading.

I’ve recently finished The Red Tent, a fictionalised account of the life of Dinah, the only sister of Joseph (of the coat of many colours fame), daughter of Jacob and his first wife Leah. Written by Anita Diamant, this book of Genesis gives a woman’s perspective of life at that time. The red tent refers to the place where women would go when menstruating or giving birth. I would definitely recommend this one.

Currently I am part way through The Elephant Whisperer: My Life With the Herd in the African Wild. Lawrence Anthony, owner/operator of Thula Thula willdlife reserve received a request that common sense told him he should say no to. He was asked to take a herd of “rogue” elephants. But knowing that otherwise the fate of these huge beasts would be death, Lawrence felt unable to refuse. So far I am finding this one fascinating as I read of the challenges this animal lover encountered in his attempts to bond with the elephants and the things they were able to teach him.

Anyway, it’s after midnight so I’d best be off. See you soon.


It’s December 1 and the first day of Summer in my part of the world, though you wouldn’t think it to look outside. The skies are grey and rain has been falling off and on. And to make it worse it’s COLD!!!! Anyway not only is it Summer but Christmas is just around the corner too. In trying to avoid the crowds in the shopping centres I’ve been doing lots of online shopping for gifts. Hopefully all these purchases will arrive in time.

There’s been a little voice inside my head for the past few weeks reminding me I have neglected my blog, but I really did get a shock when I came in here and looked to see how long it’s actually been. Three months. Surely not? The blog gremlins must have snuck in and removed some of my posts.

Anyway, while I’ve been absent from here I’ve had a couple of interesting and fun experiences. For the past six years the local tennis club has held an antiques and collectables fair so this year I decided to apply to hold a stall. This was my first time selling books in this way. Up to now all my selling has been online. A friend shared my stand with me and held my hand in a manner of speaking. My friend, who was selling bric a brac as well as books has much more selling experience than myself and was able to encourage me with my attempts. Sales weren’t great, but I made a couple of  possibly useful contacts. The second of my book outings was to the local primary school twilight fair, where I had a stand selling the children’s Barefoot Books that I now stock. An entirely different atmosphere that’s for sure, but I feel I learnt a thing or two for next time

I’ll be back soon to chat about the books I’ve been reading but I want to put this up now. See you in the soup.


Well it was when I thought about starting this.  Anyway last week was slightly chaotic around here. To look at the house you’d think we were moving, and all because I bought a bookcase. Quite a large bookcase. Three metres wide and two metres high in fact. In order to make room for the bookcase #2 son’s room had to be cleared out. Officially he left home several months ago but hadn’t taken all of his things with him. Consequently, boxes of bits and pieces were placed in the hallway, family room and even the main bathroom. Anyway, quite a lot has been taken to son’s house so we’re gradually clearing things out.

While I was sorting through some books I came across my old swapcard albumn from my childhood.

Swapcards were quite the thing when I was at school. Does anyone out there remember collecting them? We girls would have a great pile with an elastic band around them and would try to swap other’s favourites for ones we weren’t all that keen on. Lots of wheeling and dealing went on there. I’m sure I had a lot more but these were extra special ones that I bought. If I remember correctly, horse cards were pretty popular. I love my golden cocker spaniel ones because they remind me of my dog, Sunny. He’s been gone a long time now but he was the loveliest, most gentle dog ever. I remember my boys collecting football cards, cricket cards and to a lesser extent basketball  cards. What are the things that kids collect in this computer age? I’m not really up with it all.

Anyway I’ve waffled on enough for now but hope to blog again soon. Bye for now.