Posts Tagged ‘Books’


My book is here.

Once again, this is a beautiful publication – well worth the cost ($95) –  I am so glad I bought it.  For lovers of samplers, this is a fantastic reference.  Big clear pictures and wonderful narrative on the composition and construction of the samplers.  Very differnt to the Ackworth book, in that the text focusses on the sampler and not the stitcher.

I wont post piccies because the ones on the needleprint website are far better than any I can take!

You may not see me for a while….I’m off to devour it.



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A new favourite place…

There are no stitching shops within cooee of my workplace – yes there is Lincraft or Cleggs, (which doesnt’ really count for stitching but does have some lovely yarns) and yes, there is the beading place in Little Collins Street (Maria something or other), but no real stitching shops like my favourite.  I’ve had to find other places in which to satisfy my need for inspiration. 

I have a new such place.  The Hill of Content Bookshop on Bourke Street – just  stone’s throw from my office which just so happens to be the place where I finally found Damon Young’s book “Distraction – A Philosopher’s Guide to Being Free” (sold out now though – I got the last copy!!!). 

While I was there I also picked up “A Fraction of the Whole”  the Man Booker Prize shortlisted first novel of Sydney novelist Steve Tolz.  A start to this lengthy work should make great for a weekend of reading! 

Speaking of the Man Booker Prize, I used to make a point of trying to read the entire shortlist each year.  Some years were really hard going and some  were a pure joy!  I loved Alice Sebold’s “The Lovely Bones and the same year (2004) I think was Suri Hustevdt’s “What I Loved” and the winner, Alan Hollingsworth’s “The Line of Beauty”.  That year also shortlisted “Maps for Lost Lovers” by Nadeem Aslam, which I found both hard to read (intensity) and incredibly difficult to put down.

The book that affected me most in 2003 was “Astonishing Splashes of Colour” by Clare Morral, funny, and not funny all at once.  This was another one of those books that I wouldn’t lend, but raved about.  And of course EVERYONE was reading “Vernon God Little”.

I think I stopped reading “the list” because I could never find anyone in my circle of friends who read quite as much as I do to discuss what I’d discovered.  It also seemed to me that ‘the shortlist’ just  kept getting longer! 

This year however looks like a good year to pick up this habit again.

PS: Stitchy pictures tomorrow…..promise!

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I picked this up from the table in Mary Martin Bookshop while I was out trying to find the aforementioned “Distraction”. I simply cannot enter a bookshop and not buy something….I am utterly and unapologetically hopeless!

There were three things that made me add it to my shopping!

1.  “McKellar”. Firstly I wondered if this Author is in some way related to Dorothea McKellar?  (Apologies to the author – she probably gets this alot!)

2.  The front cover review….

“MacKellar makes terrifically vivid the often unsung strength of women brave in their new worlds.”…Anna Funder


3.  This book is a representation of true stories of women and their lives.

I love books like this.  Will start this one on the train tonight in the absence of “Distraction”…funny distracted from reading “Distraction”.

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Then Damon Young has a few ways of overcoming Distraction….here…be sure to go back to the front page of his blog too!

I’ve been out at lunchtime trying to buy “Distraction” and was unsuccessful in the two bookshops I visited, I might have to go further afield….

Finally!  Readable philosophy!

“He is a punchy writer, with a gift for turning complex ideas into readable, entertaining stories.” – Christopher Scanlon, Canberra Times

“Distraction…is the best kind of popular philosophy – popular…in the real sense of the word, owing to its overriding, passionate concern with the business of living well, right now…in this world in front of our eyes.”- Maria Tumarkin, author of Traumascapes and Courage

From the publisher’s website…..


A Philosopher’s Guide to Being Free

Damon Young

Distraction is a book of popular philosophy, exploring the nature of distraction and its role in modern life.


‘This warm and witty book does something wonderful: it brings the great ideas of philosophy into our lives. Young is a bright new voice.’ — John Armstrong, author of The Secret Power of Beauty.

‘This author makes “dancing” with the philosophic and artistic masters. . .enjoyable even though one may be tone-deaf to the music and not know the steps.’ — Barbara Cullen, Bookseller + Publisher magazine.

About this Title

We all know what it is to be distracted-a feeling that our attention is not quite where it should be. Though it is not a new complaint, at work and at home, in our social lives and in the bedroom, our attention is often torn between one thing and another. What does it mean to be distracted, and why?

In this insightful journey through the lives of philosophers, artists and great political thinkers, Damon Young shows how rewarding patient, sensitive and thoughtful attention to the world can be. He suggests that the opposite of a life of distraction is one of genuine freedom.

Table of Contents

1 Manholes and Tears
2 What a Piece of Work Is a Man
3 The Reins of Necessity
4 A Farewell to Arms
5 Matisse’s Hernia
6 The Private Life
7 Footnotes to Plato
Balancing the Books

About the Author

Damon Young is an Honorary Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne, and the author of essays, fiction and poetry. He has lectured in European philosophy, literature and globalisation.

Hmmmm…I cannot wait to get my hands/eyes on this one!

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Northern Notes – Writers’ Festival

Anyone who knows me knows how much I have been raving about Rachel Power’s Book – “A Divided Heart – Art and Motherhood”.

The Northern Notes Writers’ Festival has an event that I will be going along to and I want to invite everyone to come with me too!

The Divided Heart: Art and Motherhood

3:30pm – 5:00pm
Northcote Town Hall – Festival Hub
189 High Street Northcote

In Rachel Power’s book The Divided Heart: Art and Motherhood, Australia’s most respected artists, writers and actors speak frankly about the wrench between motherhood and their artistic life. Join writer Rachel Power, singer-songwriter Emma Tonkin, actor-musician Alice Garner and artist Sarah Tomasetti in a discussion about making art amid the clamour and clutter of family life. Rachel will navigate through the divided heart of these artists to reveal the shocking, funny and moving truth of the overwhelming demands of motherhood and the undiminished passion for their work. Her book will resonate with anyone who has ever wondered, ‘Who will I be when this baby is born?’

You have a week or two to read the book before we go.

If you’d like to meet there…send me a message!


EDITED: to link the Northern Notes Writers’ Festival.

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I stumbled across a few great knitting blogs this week, searching for a tutorial with PICTURES for sock knitting….(that darned heel turning) so I thought it best to share them with you because I know lots of my readers are also knitters!

http://www.cometosilver.com/socks/ – great sock tutorial for sock numpties newbies like me 🙂
http://www.knittingpatterncentral.com/  FREE PATTERNS! Gotta love the free!
http://www.limenviolet.com/blog/ search for the cuff down and the toe up sock tutorials simply the best sock tutorials ever!

Oooooh and I bought a fantastic book called “Knitting on the Edge” by Nicky Epstein.  Fantastic book with lots of lovely edges for our knitting!

I am going to stitch again….I promise…but right now, I find knitting really meditative AND it’s much easier to knit on the train than stitch.  Soon enough it will be too hot to knit!
Oh and I finished another wrap!  One more Christmas present down….lots to go!



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Checking in….and a book review!

I’ve done absolutely NO STITCHING..,.none….not a single stitch since I posted last.  I have started some gift knitting…but that’s it.  Pretty poor effort on my part I think.

I have however written a heap of new songs.

My most recent song is about parenting…I’ve had a bit on a bit of a rough parenting road lately…teenagers….hormones….all that stuff, and last week I had to make a decision that wasn’t really popular, the song called “The Eyes of my Child (20 Questions)” came out of that situation.

“The Spirit of Elvis” is coming along nicely, and another called “Words Wont Come” is working up nicely 🙂

I’ve also recently bought a beautiful book (actually I’ve bought it three times and two friends are now reading it too!) “A Divided Heart: Art and Motherhood” I did a bit of a blurb on my myspace, but I will add it here!  It’s a gorgeously heart wrenching and wonderful book.

Divided Heart: Art and Motherhood – Rachel Power..
ISBN: 9781742035017

I spotted on the shelf of my local bookshop, a book called “Divided Heart: Art and Motherhood” by Rachel Power and I quickly read the back cover and thought, “Oh great – some light reading for the train”.  A collection of conversations with the artist mothers of Australia, writers, artists, dancers, songwriters, and filmmakers.

I was wrong. 

There is nothing lightweight about this book.  By page two of the introduction, I am a woman (and a mother) dangerously close to tears as I read, and re-read the words that have seemingly been stripped from my soul and placed on these pages by some other woman and mother.  I’ve never before encountered anyone brave enough to verbalise or write about childbirth and motherhood in this way.

 page 2 of the introduction……

“Like a magnet, simultaneously repelled and attracted, to be a mother is to be mired in contradiction.  We can love our children while resenting their impact on our lives; our bodies sing out for theirs when we are away from them, yet our minds can strain away in boredom and frustration when they are near.  Children are not a job you can leave, or a country you can return from.  No one can guarantee you a child who matches your imaginings.  You will get what you’re given – and there is no turning back.”    

Lately I’ve struggled with the ideas of being a creative woman without something in my life giving way. I often joke with my friends that if I am to continue with my song-writing dream that I will have to give up work, or offload my family – kids, partner, dogs and cats included.  I related to this book from the very first page.

If you’re a creative woman (and aren’t we all), I urge you to find a copy of this book and read it, alone, where you can weep, as I did, when you come to the realisation that what you feel is being felt by others, that’ you’re not a failure as a mother, and that there is hope for your creative life amongst it all.

PIck up a copy for yourself….or your mother….and enjoy!

I’ve also read “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night” by Mark Haddon…a beautiful book written from the point of view by a young boy with Autism.  Very thought provoking and funny too.

Yesterday I picked up a book about Eva Cassidy, “The Story of Her Life by Those that Knew Her”…Eva was an amazing singer and if you get a chance to pick up a Cd – listen to her – her voice was truly incredible.

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