Friday, October 9, 2015

The Secret Son

history lovers hello,

The Secret Son by Jenny Ackland is a story told in Turkey and Australia from current and world war one eras.

The novel is Ackland's debut and it is beautifully done. It follows Cem who is both breaking free of his family and tracing his Turkish roots and it follows James an Australian left behind after the retreat from Gallipoli and befriended by a young Turkish soldier.

Both have pasts that they are unaware of and both land in the same small village. A hundred years apart their stories are woven together and connected in strange ways.

I loved this novel. It is one of those stories that seems to take you gently by the hand and lead you in but it doesn't stay gentle with you. The characters are well realised and it's one of those stories where afterwards you'd like further novels written from different characters perspectives.

There are times that I need a family tree or neighbourhood overview or cast of characters while I'm reading and I could say that for this book, although it needs to be left out for reasons of narrative in this story.

An excellent read for anyone who likes books with historical links and strong storylines.

Details - Allen &Unwin Spetember 2015, RRP $29.99

love you more than not wanting to finish reading a book xxx

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Yeah I Made It 41/52... A Dress from Bounce New Look 6962

Summer's a coming here and cool dresses are all I'll be in for the next few months. (I'll also spend a lot of time complaining about being too hot - but luckily for you you don't have to hear that).

Bounce won a spotlight voucher recently for going in for their birthday celebrations dressed up. The invite to do this was on their handout but he was the only one - he would have been the most adorable either way, obviously! - just goes to show sometimes making a small effort pays off.

Thank you spotlight $50 for Bounce, and he let me buy this piece of fabric along with the various collection of Christmas decorations and other things that appeal to a 6 year old who has a thing for glitter and soft toys.

This pattern New Look 6962 is one of the very first patterns I ever bought when I first started sewing for myself, about 15 years ago. It's super simple it has 2 darts and it's self faced. Three pattern pieces and a short morning with the machine and I have a new dress.

Sorry about the bra exposure at the back - The Atlas took the photos and he didn't notice.

I love the colours and it looks so perfect against the wisteria. Now I just need to carry around a archway of wisteria wherever I walk!

Dress - New Look 6962
fabric $10m (I bought 2m)
Shoes - Crown Vintage brand bought at an op-shop in Melbourne for $15
Sunnies - Reject Shop $5
Bracelet - second hand/ vintage shop
Hair Clip - made by HollyB
Bag - Part of a prize I won

love you more than Spring wisteria xxx

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

forty of fifty two

Collected the big (very tired) boy from camp.

A beautiful, needed weekend away in Middleton.

Grandad accompanied us too.

Watching the waves directly from the windows and The Atlas got to surf every day - special times.

One evening as dusk fell we exploring the rock pools.

love you more than a pool full of star fish xxx

Monday, October 5, 2015

Yeah I Made It 40/52... Pixie Coats

Sewing friends how's the pin cushion treating you?

So turns out, I love being a family member but I get an F for birthday dates.

I have 2 delicious nieces whose birthdays I recently missed. Yes I know I need to hang up a birthday calendar (my sister made me one) and make sure the birthdays are written on it. Organisation is what we might call and 'emerging strength', which is kind of teacher speak for something I'm pretty rubbish at!

So I used the very simple to put together Big Little pixie coat pattern to make them matching coats. Even though they are 2 years apart I made them the same size because the little one comes from tall genes and the big one doesn't and also they live in different seasons.

Yellow buttons for one and purple buttons for another.

I adore the corduroy horse fabric, there may be enough for a skirt for the least impressive Aunty to make herself one too!

I lined the coat in pink flannelette because if I were small I'd be pretty happy living my life in flannelette.

So, how's your birthday track record? Better than mine right?

love you more than a birthday gift in the post xxx

Saturday, October 3, 2015

thirty eight and thirty nine

these boys I love

doing their thing with their Friday band group at church - we were one microphone short but my little one manned up and sang without - so proud of him

on adventures in the city - love the way the little one is looking at the big one

one on camp for 3 days - it's a big deal for us

one who spends most of his life skipping from one destination to another

love you more than holiday-mode xxx

Friday, October 2, 2015

Me, Earl and a Dying Girl

hiya readers,

I always like to read a book before I see the movie (or if I see the movie - the book might determine that too!).

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews has been made into a movie recently so I wanted to make sure I read the book before any previews of the movie spoiled the book.

I actually like the original/other cover better but this is the one with the movie tie-in bit.

The book is set in high school - the last year, and centres around Greg whose sole aim in life is to get through with as little awkwardness as possible. He lives on the periphery at all times, low profile, almost in all groups but not fully in any.

In his down time he and his 'not-really-friend more of a coworker' Earl make strange movies. Then Greg gets coerced into a friendship with Rachel who is dying.

So what sounds like a supremely depressing premise for a novel is actually rather funny. The book is told from a teenage boys perspective so you can expect cuss words, sex talk and general grossness from time to time. The book switches between a traditional narrative and play script writing style and addresses the reader directly. I think this book will become one of those reads that has appeal across the teenage spectrum because of its style and its ability to relate to its audience.

There is a cool section in the back with a Q&A and some excerpts from the screen version with author notes at the bottom. I found this really interesting in terms of the movement between the book to movie expectations and challenges.

A must read for anyone who wants to be able to talk with teenage readers of the book. Also if you're planning to see the movie I think the book and the final section would really enhance the overall experience.

Some laugh out loud moments.

Details - Allen & Unwin July 2015, RRP $19.99. 

love you more than a totally awkward silence xxx

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Distracted crafters,

How are you? How's the list of to-dos and more importantly how many are craft projects?

So I purchased a bright blue hoodie for Bounce a while ago when I thought he only had one that fitted him, (I was quite wrong but let's not focus on that!). I asked him if he wanted to decorate it with me and he was very keen.

He drew a Diplodocus, because that is his favourite dinosaur, for the back and we cut it out to create the pattern. I designed the pocket one and he chose the buttons. (There are 4 legs and one tail).

We're both very pleased with the final outcome.

Not bad for a cheap, possibly not essentially needed, hoodie.

love you more than being sure of how to pronounce diplodocus xxx