Thursday, January 11, 2018

Bookish - Beautiful Board Books


We've had the joy of reading some superb board books at our place recently. For those of you who love the Hairy McLary books you may be familiar with some others of Lynley Dodd's work. These board book versions means they can be enjoyed by an even younger audience.

The Smallest Turtle is one I have loved for many years.

The poetic nature of the writing is an absolute joy. The smallest turtle has hatched and he's trying to make his was to the sea but it's so hot and the seagulls are circling. The writing is accompanied by Dodd's gorgeous illustrations. This is such a special story and perfect for families who love nature and animals.

Details - Penguin Random House, January 2018 RRP $15.99 BB

The Nickle Nackle Tree also by Dodd is a real contrast to the other.

Packed with colourful quirky illustrations and nonsense words this is a counting book like no other. As usual Dodd's rhyme scheme is excellent and really contributes to the whole. I hadn't actually read this one before but I absolutely loved it and know my little number lover would have loved it as a little one, as would have my colourful artist.

Details - Penguin Random House, January 2018 RRP $15.99 BB

These two books show the contrast of what Lynley Dodd is capable of. Both would make a wonderful gift for any little person and their parents. I'll be sending some to a special new arrival in our lives.

Highly recommended.

love you more than a book where the pages don't scrunch up xxx

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Bookish - The Truth and Lies of Ella Black

Hey Readers,

So I have really enjoyed reading this past year and The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr was a perfect YA accompaniment to my pile.

Ella is leading a fairly average teenage life on the surface - somewhat misleading her parents in certain areas and with a couple of great friends. Truth is though she's hiding something very dark, something she can't talk about and something she fears she'll lose control over.

Then all of a sudden her whole world is turned upside down, and it's her parents who are hiding something - but what is it and why the trip to Rio?

Ella's life is going to get strange and difficult and she'll need all her wits and her own dark secret to help her survive what will unfold.

A pacy drama with some unexpected twists and turns along the way and some bright shining moments as well.

A very enjoyable read.

Details - Penguin Random House, January 2018 RRP $23.00

love you more than a passionate kiss in an elevator xxx

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Bookish - Catch Me When You Fall

Kia ora readers,

I always like to have a nice stack of things to read in the summer holidays. Recently I finished reading Catch Me When You Fall by Eileen Merriman. It's YA genre.

The book follows Alex Byrd who has just discovered that her leukaemia has returned, and Jamie Orange whom she meets in the waiting room. Jamie and Alex's paths begin to intersect and their burgeoning relationship is a bright light on the dark horizon of Alex's life.

How do you live life when you really might be running out of time and how will Jamie's own life and struggles cope with Alex's issues? How will her parents cope with the competition for Alex's heart and will Jamie really like her when she's sick and her hair is gone?

and... why was Jamie in the waiting room that day?

This very readable novel is set in Christchurch post earthquake which makes it instantly appealing to me. Merriman has created dynamic, believable characters who are faced with the harsh realities of medical issues largely outside their control. The joy and tenderness between Alex and Jamie is a real joy. There are some beautiful and horrific scenes where the full weight of the thinness of the space between life and death are explored.

A book to be emotionally involved with this summer.

Content triggers - teenage mortality, sex scenes, leukaemia, chemotherapy and bipolar.

I would be very happy to read other titles by this author.

Details - Penguin Random House, January 2018. RRP $19.99

Love you more than a compulsive knitting session xxx

Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Year that Was


This year I kept a list of the books I read... I've often meant to but this year I managed it. It's been a good reading year for me - 41 books! Some are children's novels so there is a mix of time needed to read them.

I'm also partway through several other non-fiction books which I hope to complete in 2018.

I've put my absolute favourite/s in bold. (At least one per category)

I've blogged a lot of them because I was kindly sent them for reviewing - I really do like being sent books for review. In 2018 I am planning to start studying again (part time) and working (part time) so I'm not sure I will manage as much reading.

Here's the books - in categories:

Children's Novels
The Young Magicians and the Thieves Almanac
The Changeover
Helper and Helper
Wave Me Goodbye

YA Fiction
See You in the Cosmos
Midnight Sun
Things A Bright Girl Can Do
Catch Me When You Fall
The Truth and Lies of Ella Black

Adult Fiction
Her Mother's Secret
The Earth Cries Out
The Last Debutante
Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay
Little Breton Bistro
Keep Me Safe
The Suicide Club
Come Sundown
Saints for All Occasions
Trip of a Lifetime
The Music Shop
Sensible Shoes - Sharon Garlough Brown
Two Steps Forward - Sharon Garlough Brown
Barefoot - Sharon Garlough Brown
The Club of Queer Trades - G K Chesterton

Non- Fiction - mainly about creativity, faith or the arts
The Knowledge of the Holy - AW Tozer
Found - Micha Boyde
Walking on Water - Madeleine L'Engle
Personality and Prayer - Ruth Fowke
Gastrophysics - Charles Spence
The Insect and the Buffalo - Roshan Allpress
Option B - Sheryl Sandberg
The Choice - Edith Eger
The Contemplative Pastor - Eugene Peterson
Called or Collared - Francis Dewar
Every Good Endeavour - Timothy Keller
The Artisan Soul - Erwin Raphael McManus

Kneeling in Bethlehem (Poetry) - Ann Weems

There are some other books I read but I only counted books that I read every word of.

What books have made you smile, laugh, delight in 2017?

What's on your reading list for 2018?

love you more than a proper list xxx

December Makery

Hey Up Friends,

So I've been trying to get some making done and dusted before the year winds down.

As part of Dressember I was sponsored to make two new dresses.

Vogue 8469

I made this in a crazy patchwork look fabric and paired it with a beautiful shot dupion silk sash. Both fabrics  are second hand.

and my totally TNT pattern The Ruby Dress by Simple Sew

I have lost count of how many of these I have made (this isn't the only one I haven't blogged about). I made this out of second had denim I got at the Steiner fair recently. I absolutely love this dress and I'm all kinds of excited about how much fun I will have accessorising it.

I also made to large drawstring bags for my boys to unwrap on Christmas Eve because we had temporarily misplaced our stockings.

Re-sewed several zips.

Made 9 produce bags for my sister for her to use when shopping.

Fixed The Atlas' jeans

and let out the seams in a dress that I had done the wrong seam allowance on.

So, you know, there has been sewing it's just the blogging that's been disappointing!

love you more than mending jobs done xxx

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Wearing all the Dresses

Hey Y'all,

So as you may have read I have been doing Dressember which is a fundraising drive for two charities - The International Justice Mission and A21.

It's been amazing and I've ended up with sponsors for every day of December which has really blown me away.

As part of that mission I've been getting the ever faithful Atlas to take pictures everyday and sometimes my sons.

Because I've been a bit missing from here lately I thought I'd share some pics of the December that has been Dressember so far.

I do hope you had an appropriately well-fed, family fueled Christmas.

I've spent today clearing out my sewing room with my favourite sewing partner in crime, my sister. I might share some pics.

Also apparently I love putting my hands on my hips! ;-)

love you more than keeping up to date xxx

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Simplicity 3688 Version 3

Heya Lovelies,

I bought this lovely creasy fabric from Annah Streton fabrics a while ago when they had a big sale on.

I quite this Simplicity pattern. It's high and fitted across the waist and really wide in the leg. Which either makes the pants look more formal or like PJ pants... or both simultaneously.

I'm looking a bit dishevelled in these photos because I've been teaching all day and it's end of year concert o'clock!

I discovered once I'd made them that these pants will only be appropriate with beige coloured giant nana undies. (It's an exciting life I lead!)

Top and necklace also handmade by me.

Done! Now tomorrow I'm into a month of dresses for a great cause.

love you more than the perfect set of undies xxx