Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hot summer segue

Hobart is having the most amazing Summer and one of my new year's resolutions is to get out there rather than sitting inside sewing on the weekends.  We've also been to Sydney and New Zealand for Kerry and Johno's big birthday celebrations (that's our jaunty carvan from the NZ relies' caravan circle) - so it's all been wonderful but I haven't been 'making' much.  Although that said I have just whipped up a little baby shower pressie for Amy - a teething square- as it is too darn hot and blustery to be outside at the moment.  Me thinks a thumderstorm is brewing.

Saw some great art and craft in NZ so I'll post some pics of these to inspire.  The necklace below is from a very groovy shop called Jet in Raglan.  It's made from greenish coloured rocks tied on a woven flaxy neck piece.  I love it.


The garden sculptures above are at the Lillypad cafe near Cambridge NZ.  Love the teapot towers and will be scouring our local tip shop for some teapots soon. 
The pic below is of the entrance to the Boatshed cafe at Palm Beach.  This too was wonderful. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My fav reads in 2009

A new year and time to start a fresh new list of the books I am reading.  Of the books I read in 2009 my fav reads were Breath by Tim Winton (adventure story, amazing writing, a few suprises, loved the beach and coastal imagery); My Driver by Maggie Gee (set in Uganda, quirky, great plot and characters, lots of laugh out loud moments, romance, drama); The Household Guide to Dying (a novel) by Debra Adelaide (again a bit quirky, funny, sad, family drama - great read); Vertigo (a novella) by Amanda Lohrey (short, evocative, moody, bushfire - fabulously written - made me feel like I was there in the story); and The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (set in southern states of America, sad, funny, a bit spiritual and uplifting). 

The books I gave four stars to were also rave-worthy.  I was very lucky last year - I really didn't have read too many duds at all.  So here's my reading list for 2009 with my star rating:

A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz **** (Australian author)
Breath by Tim Winton ****1/2 (Australian)
Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui by Karen Kingston **** (very motivating read!!)
Eating Chinese Food Naked by Mei NG ***
Evening is the Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan ****
Mercy by Jodi Picoult ***1/2
My Cleaner by Maggie Gee ****
My Driver by Maggie Gee ****1/2
One Thousand Chestnut Trees by Mira Stout ***1/2
Rouseabout by Rachael Treasure ***1/2 (Australian)
Stranger by Anita Brookner ***
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne ****
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer ****
The Household Guide to Dying (a novel) by Debra Adelaide **** (Australian)
The Hunter's Wife by Katherine Scholes ***1/2 (Australian)
The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood *** and 3/4
The Lieutenant by Kate Grenville ***1/2 (Australian)
The Lost Children by Maggie Gee ***
The Other Hand by Chris Cleave ****
The Pages by Murray Bail ***1/2 (Australian)
The Road Home by Rose Tremain ****
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd ****1/2
The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas **** (Australian)
The White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey ***3/4
The Young Widow's Book of Home Improvement by Virginia Lloyd **** (Australian)
Three Junes by Julie Glass ****
Vertigo (a novella) by Amanda Lohrey ****1/2 (Australian)
Wanting by Richard Flanagan **** (Australian)

Monday, January 4, 2010

I love love love Summer

It has been the best Christmas/New Year break from work I can remember.  Sunshine, swimming, sleep-ins, sewing - all the favourite 's' words.  (I was going to be risque and throw in another but this is a G-rated blog.) 

We have had lots of house guests coming and going - more Melbourne university students than I can count emerging from the shed in all states of undress and disrepair, pre and post the Falls Festival.  Also cousin Vicki over for Micaela and Aaron's lovely bush wedding yesterday at Koonya.  We had lots of laughs together.

I've had great times too with little Izzie and Lilli - outings to the Taste, Conningham beach and kayak fun. 

Husband has continued his walking addiction over the break and stirred me into a bit more activity too so despite Christmas lunch and the Sue/Steph Christmas take 2 eating and drinking excitement I am feeling quite healthy. New Year's Eve was memorable up at Johnny's watching the amazing lightning storm right above us, full moon and blackout.  

Only nine more days of work and then it's off to Sydney and New Zealand.  Life is good.  2010 promises lots.  Happy birthday today Kerry.

Above is a photo of our new outdoor light shining on John's pumice masterpiece and Tom's wooden fish.