27 May 2019

My book of the month: May

Ghost Wall is is the latest story by Sarah Moss. It's a slender book but it packs a punch!

For two weeks, Sylvie and her family join a group of university students to re-enact life as it could have been in Iron Age England. Her father is obsessed with the archaeology and anthropology of the times and he joins with an equally-obsessed academic to lead the group.

It's an unsettling story, as the group starts to unravel and we get a glimpse of where the men's decisions could lead. Satisfyingly creepy.

You can read more about Ghost Wall on Goodreads.

09 April 2019

My book of the month: April

My favourite stories are those that have a strong sense of place, either real or imagined. That's why I found Home Fires engrossing; well, that and the believable characters.

The story is set in the Victorian town of Myrtle, where a catastrophic bushfire destroyed not only the buildings and the landscape but also the lives of the residents. Through a combination of chapters of before, after and during the fire, the story reveals the tragedies in Myrtle.

Read more about Home Fires on Goodreads

02 April 2019

2019 reading challenge

At the beginning of this year I joined the 2019 reading challenge on Goodreads. I don't usually keep track of how many books I read but I thought this might be fun. I chose a target of 100 books so, if I read regularly, I should have reached 25% of my target by the end of March. Instead, I am ahead!

Do you record your reading? Visit my challenge page to see what I've read this year. 

25 March 2019

My book of the month: March

I haven't found a good Gothic thriller for years, until I read The Stranger Diaries. It has all the elements of the genre: fear, terror, death, gloom, the supernatural, romance, and emotion. Ooh, it's shiveringly good!

Elly Griffiths is the author of one of my favourite series, the Ruth Galloway series, so I knew she could write great mysteries. Still, I wasn't prepared for the scary pleasure of immersing myself in the world of Clare Cassidy. Make sure you have all the lights on when you read it!

Read more about The Stranger Diaries on Goodreads. 

11 February 2019

Using OneNote

I love to organise stuff. Seeing everything lined up and arranged so I can see at a glance what I have brings me pleasure. I'm hard-wired like that!

I recently decided to learn how to organise some of my digital files with Microsoft's OneNote. First I had to work through my confusion about the multiple OneNote software I had. There's OneNote 2016, which allows you to save notebooks to your own computer, and the OneNote app (sometimes called OneNote for Windows10) which will only allow you to save notebooks in the cloud to OneDrive.

OneNote 2016 will no longer have enhancements but I'll continue to use it for personal information I don't want shared in the cloud (yes, I'm mildly paranoid - in a good way, of course!). All my other notebooks are on OneDrive.

I confess I'm having fun. The notebooks sync across all my devices so I can view them on my laptop, tablet, and phone. Very handy.

Here's a screen shot of my Knitting notebook. All my digital knitting patterns in one place. I may start scanning my printed patterns and saving them in my notebook, too.

I love that I can set up tabs with any headings I like as well as rename and move pages and tabs around. I can then make sure they are in alphabetical order. 😃

Here's my recipe notebook.

So far I've added pdfs and copied and pasted photos and text from Word documents. I had all this information in documents on my PC but this is a better way to access them, I think.

Do you use OneNote? I'm just a beginner and I know there is sooo much more to learn.

There's even a Facebook group for people using OneNote for their bullet journals. The layouts they have on their pages are amazing. I can't imagine how they have set them up, but I'm absorbing the information they share.

If you have any tips for me, please leave a comment. All advice will be gratefully received!

05 February 2019

My book of the month: February

I read this book a few months ago but the story has stayed with me. It's such an original story, I guess that's why (but I did guess the twist in the plot way before the end. That did not diminish my enjoyment, though!).

When Inga Karlson died in a fire in New York in the 1930s, she left behind a hugely successful first novel, the scorched fragments of a second book, and a mystery that intrigued many readers.

Brisbane bookseller Caddie Walker visited an exhibition of the famous fragments fifty years later, where she met a woman who quoted a previously-unknown phrase from the fragments. That's all it took for Caddie to commence her investigation into this great literary mystery.

You can read more about The Fragments on Goodreads.

My 2019 reading progress

In a moment of January holiday eagerness, I committed to the Goodreads 2019 reading challenge. I arbitrarily chose to read 100 books this year and have already finished 16. Let's see how I go with the rest of them!

Are you a member of Goodreads? Let's be friends there if you are!

29 January 2019

No more huge quilts for me

I've been wrestling with an unfinished quilt top this month. It's enormous (by that I mean queen sized) and I've finally wrangled all the pieces through my sewing machine. It is a Trip Around the World (the pic below shows it in an early stage on my design wall) and there's no way I'm quilting it. 

My purpose was to use the myriad fabric in my cupboards. Ha! I can't see any difference to the size of the fabric piles.

I've arranged to have it professionally quilted. By the time I bought the batting and backing fabric and factored in the cost of the quilting (which is so worth the money and will look fabulous), my quilt works out to be very expensive.

I don't want to spend so much money on a quilt. Making quilts is my hobby, not my job, and it's not like I have a lack of bedding. It's just too expensive to make these big quilts and I'd rather save the money.

I've decided that I won't start any new bed quilts. I have two other queen-sized pieced quilt tops nearly finished. One's made with simple rectangles in low contrast fabrics and the other's a scrappy Lady of the Lake design. I will complete these and then that's it for me.

All my quilt projects from then on will be small quilts that I can hand quilt myself. I will be exploring more hand applique (I love that process) and am looking forward to the joy of contemplative stitching.

It's such a relief to have a clear intention for my future quilt making. Do you have a plan for your projects?