Thursday, 2 October 2014

treme, a homemade life and more

You know how they talk about book hangovers?  I get that way with television series too.  There's part of me still waiting for Friday Night Lights to return and misses the days before Mer-Der really got it together in Grey's Anatomy, back when George was still alive.  I'm forever hopeful of finding something new to watch and happy to say I've had some recent wins.  Post Hurricane Katrina, Treme is New Orleans in mourning and what came next - Season 1 was a kind of slow burn but I fell for it straight away.  Slickly filmed, the music is a highlight with a theme song I can't get out of my head.

I've stood on the sidelines regarding Game of Thrones, not imagining I would become a disciple but guess what?  I love it - and no-one is more surprised than me (and no matter how great my love of books, I will be sticking to television with this one).  We're now waiting for Season 3 to appear from the library - no spoilers please!!  Dallas Buyers Club tells the tale of Ron Woodruff who was part of the experimental AIDS treatment movement, something I didn't even know existed.  Matthew McConaughey was fantastic in this role and supported by a terrific cast.

Recently, Isabelle from the gorgeous Notes from Delft recommended I read Molly Wizenberg's memoir, A Homemade Life, which shares her passion for food and family.  It's written with equal measures of humour and honest reflection and is a great read.  Thank you Isabelle!  We are all completely beside ourselves is a masterpiece by Karen Joy Fowler, thoroughly deserving its nomination for the Man Booker Prize short list.  It's hard to say much about this novel without spoilers, so just trust me when I say you should hunt it down!

That's all for now!  Back to the book, the end is nigh and it's a very exciting yet nerve-wracking time.  How are things in your neck of the woods?

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

the art of adapting, the age of miracles & more

It's been hard to fit everything in lately - some books may have to be reborrowed for a time when I'm not trying to finish my own!  Cassandra Dunn's debut novel The Art of Adapting sees the renewal of Lana and her family after separation from her husband.  Life circumstances dictate her brother moves in his own issues to face - a lovely story about how family will always be number one.  The Age of Miracles is a standout.  Karen Thompson Walker's novel is written so deftly and beautifully, it's one of my best reads ever.  Imagine the world after the 'slowing', when there are days on end of light or dark.  Seen through the eyes of 12 year old Judith, it's a wonderful imagining of this time.

The Infographic Resume is an interesting concept - throw away your boring curriculum vitae and use an infographic instead!  There are some amazing examples in the book and it seems like a logical step in our visual world.  Salvage Secrets Design & Decor was written by interior designer, stylist and author Joanne Palmisano.  Filled with beautiful images of how to repurpose items and great finds - she also has a fabulous Pinterest board.  Cook Republic's Sneh Roy has blogged to book with Tasty Express - stunning photographs and great recipes - enjoy!

I've decided to split up my recent reading and viewing posts - too much to fit in!!  There will be more tomorrow and from then on I will try to blog my reads as I go.

What literary fodder have you feasted on lately?

Monday, 29 September 2014

tulip fever

You would think I had gone out and hunted down these tulip bulbs myself with the excitement I've been feeling about their beautiful blooms.  I've taken countless pictures of them at different times of day, enjoying them under the bright midday sun as much as I do under the last glow at the end of the day.  I'm sure my neighbours are thinking 'here she goes again' but honestly, if you'd seen our front garden this time last year - pretty much a bare patch of lawn - you would be amazed too!
As there are so few of them I have refrained from picking them, but Jono raced in and nabbed this one. He proceeded to pull it apart, the image of which I posted on Instagram entitled 'Tulip Deconstructed', boy aged 3 1/2, a modern artwork.  I will concede that it does look rather lovely, but I would have preferred it in tact!  What do you think?!

Editing, editing, editing here.  I'm just about at the end!  My synopsis is polished and the next stage will soon be underway.  Exciting stuff but also nerve-wracking!  How are things with you?

Friday, 26 September 2014

five on friday

Of the almost 30,000 photos on my computer, there are some I come back to, over and over again.  Images to print, frame and hang in my house, ones that I've had on cards and put on canvas.

* This blue urn is a family favourite, a genie bottle covered in blue mosaic tiles - an amazing creation you could stare at for hours, lost in the form and wondering at the work that went into its production.

* Roses are always a feature - currently we have blooms budding and I'm waiting (impatiently) for them to burst open in their yellows, reds, pinks and oranges - we won't be short on flowers this summer!

* The grevillea is stunning - something we're yet to plant in our garden but one of the many plants on our ever-growing list.

* The blossom one of many taken on a walk with Tom years ago - we lived on a farm with a stone fruit orchard - spring was a very special time!

* One of my all-time favourites, this echeveria was one of many in mum and E's old garden.  All our echeverias here descend from these plants which makes them very special indeed!

Do you have five on Friday to share?  If so, please leave a link in the comments.

School holidays here, so a hectic time - what's it like in your part of the world?!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

a scrap fabric bunting transformation

My sewing machine enjoyed a full work out yesterday from the patchwork flag to fixing our living room curtains and this scrap fabric bunting.  I have drawers full of leftovers in all shapes and size just waiting for a project like this.  It was all very easy to construct with the help of my iron and the 'good' pair of scissors I prepared my shapes before sewing them double-sided on the machine.
As with yesterday, Jono wasn't keen on standing still for a photo with the bunting and Soph stood in for him.  She is showing you her favourite piece of material on the wall, which matches the little doll cushion I made for her a few years ago.  Sophie was laughing so much when I took the shot that her eyes closed, unintentionally mimicking the cushion - that's what I call perfect photographic timing!
Another glimpse - Jono is so happy to have something up on his walls.  They have been looking dull for too long, just waiting for me to have time to do the job.  He's delighted with the transformation but wants more, more, more.  The pressure is on now to come up with the goods.  Help!

Did your household have a 'good' pair of scissors when you were younger?

Were you like me and couldn't understand why I wasn't allowed to cut paper 
with them, especially when they did such a good job?!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

patchwork flag: perfect for a child's bedroom!

The great thing about fabric is you can start making something, put it down for (more than) a few years, then turn it into something else.  The right-hand side of this flag was intended as a quilt for Tom's bedroom, but once I started piecing it together it just felt all wrong.  It's been waiting for inspiration such as this - the transformation from work-in-progress to a flag for Jono's bedroom (I did ask him to pose in front of it, but he was a tad reluctant - Soph was willing instead).
The end piece is stuffed with a cardboard roll with a mixture of thread and pins holding it together.  The eagle-eyed of you will see some loose threads which will be dealt with another day - it's a miracle I got it done and hung on the wall!  I've had a flag for the kids' bedrooms on the to-do list for years now and after the intense editing session yesterday, I needed a break - this was the perfect distraction!
When I eventually coaxed Jono up on his spare bed, this was his idea of posing - batter up!  The flag has lifted the room already which has been in dire need of a lift.  Would you believe I also made bunting?  It's hanging on the other side of the room and I think I will save it for tomorrow's post…  until then I will keep you in suspense!

Have you dusted off your sewing machine lately?  Do you have works in progress waiting for inspiration or are you someone who starts and finishes something all in one go?!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

on the desk: tools for the final edit

I have another day's editing ahead of me.  For the past few weeks, I have enlisted the help of a childminder on Tuesdays so I can work uninterrupted for a good chunk of time.  It's the final edit stage so I really need to make sure everything is just right and more!  Essential tools for this stage - apart from the pure gold that is time to concentrate - are freshly brewed cups of tea and my pencil case, holder of the precious memory stick where I obsessively back up my work.  Without either of these items, there would be no book!

What do you always have on your desk?  Are you a stickler for looseleaf tea as well?!