19 June 2017

My book of the month: June

Do you know that feeling when you eagerly anticipate the new novel in a favourite series? I have several of these faves and the Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths is probably my number one!



Dr Ruth Galloway is an English forensic archaeologist who, it must be said, has a complicated life. I always find myself drawn into the stories in this series, with their mix of archaeology, police procedural plots and, above all, the personal lives of Ruth and all who enter her life. 

I read this novel in one day, while waiting at a hospital (long story). Sadly, I have to wait until 2018 for the next instalment!

The Chalk Pit is the ninth in the series. You can read more about the book on Goodreads

05 June 2017

Quilt stories

I was fortunate to interview two quilters for issue 85 of Quilters Companion magazine. Two - double the fun!


Christine Lethlean has a fabulous studio in rural Victoria, where she is creatively resourceful. I am always thrilled to peek into another quilter's creative space - it's that inner sticky-beak in me!



My second article is about Rachaeldaisy, an award-winning quilt maker with a playful name. Rachael won Best of Show at the Sydney Quilt Show in 2016 and I enjoyed discovering how she developed her colourful style. You can read this article online now!

I don't have any more articles planned at present so, if you need a writer for craft-related articles or a technical editor for quilt patterns, I'd be happy to discuss how I can help you. Email me and let's talk!

Meanwhile, I'll go back to plotting my novels....

29 May 2017

Three things I like this week

Right now, the sun is shining and the temperature is cool. I'm sipping green tea while composing this post and life feels good. What better time to list three things I like this week?

1. This book about creative studios

Working in an organised and comfortable environment at home is important to me and I love snooping into the creative spaces of other people. That's why I was excited to finally devour Studio: creative spaces for creative people by Sally Coulthard.


The studio on the cover is too dark for my liking but the book shows studios of all styles, shapes and colours. It certainly satisfied the sticky-beak in me!

2. Flat pack achievements

I was thankful for my Black & Decker rechargeable screwdriver as I assembled three pieces of flat-pack furniture - two bedside tables and an entertainment unit. They all have drawers (six in total) and I managed to put only two sets of drawer tracks in the wrong way. Yay me! 

I may retire from assembling furniture for a while now; I think those pieces are this year's quota.

3. Seeing Ian Rankin

The Sydney Writers' Festival wrapped up on the weekend and we attended one of the sessions on Saturday. What a thrill to hear Scottish writer Ian Rankin in conversation with Candice FoxIt was an entertaining chat and he recounted some funny and fascinating stories. 


I always like to learn more about authors who write my favourite books and this session did not disappoint. How fortunate we were that he travelled from the other side of the world to engage us.

How is your week? Have you had any positive experiences? Share them in the comments so we can all enjoy them, too.

15 May 2017

My book of the month: May

Real people are multi-layered, aren't they? I enjoy books that have characters so well formed that they appear real; they have so many layers of complexity that the reader can understand the characters' behaviour. The real Liddy James by Anne-Marie Casey is one of these stories.


It's not just about Liddy, though. As she forges her way through life at ferocious speed, with a ruthless reputation as a top divorce lawyer, we also see the impact she has on the other members of her family.

I thought this might be a predictable story about how a 'perfect' life falls to pieces and, in some ways, it may be read that way. But The real Liddy James is much more than that. It's about recognising our true selves and finding our place in relationships with others. 

Read more about The real Liddy James on Goodreads 

08 May 2017

On being a homebody

I've always needed solitude. There's nothing more soothing to me than simply being comfortable, maybe with a book or a hand sewing project to engage me. Even when I was growing up, I could spend hours alone on our front verandah, drawing clouds with creamy pastels, or in my bedroom, dreaming or reading.



Nothing's changed now that I'm older. I don't crave travel to foreign countries or being with large groups of people. That's not me. I am a homebody and that satisfies me.

I think that as you get older, you get to accept that your inner self is what makes you happy. It's what you are, deep inside, that defines the type of life you enjoy.

Making a comfortable home and pottering around it and my garden - these are the parts of my life that nurture me. Now, as I share that with another like-minded person, it is even more satisfying. And there can't be anything better than that.

17 April 2017

Three things I like this week

To choose only three things can sometimes be difficult. There are always so many small joyful moments in every day; we just need to recognise them!


1. New plants

I can't help but admire the gorgeous colours of the waterlily flowers in the top photo. I snapped this photo at The Collector's Plant Fair, a wonderful show where over 70 specialist nurseries gathered to sell their plants. I purchased only a few specimens but could definitely have brought many more! 

2. Seeing my writing online

Did you miss my Quilters Companion article about Sue Reid's quilt studio? You can now read it online for free!  I love seeing how other quilters arrange their creative spaces and how they make their work.


3. Hand stitching

I had an opportunity over the Easter long weekend to make progress with the applique on my BOM. Oh, how I am enjoying hand stitching these colourful blooms! Here's the pile of circles prepared for applique. Slowly sewing is so meditative. 


Do you have things that make you happy this week? Snippets of joy are all around us; we just have to look out for them.
 

10 April 2017

In the studio with Deirdre Bond-Abel

In the current issue of Quilters Companion, I have the privilege of sharing Deidre Bond-Abel's story of how her long-held dreams are coming to life.


Just look at the view through that window! Deirdre's business, Hat Creek Quilts, is based in Tasmania where she works while surrounded by inspirational countryside. 

Once again, I was fortunate to have a peep into the creative life of another talented Australian quilter. It was such a treat!