Friday, December 21, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
I know I am getting exceedingly grumpy at people who come in their lunchtime tap their foot and sigh whilst looking pointedly at the watch that they have to stand in a line with all the other foot tapping, sighing watch watching customers. I cannot help that God made a choice not to clone me into at least four others who can answer your questions, answer the phone, gift wrap, listen to how a wonderfully, genius, gifted your offspring, better half, close and/or distant relative is at reading Shakespeare in multiple languages. No I am not psychic or clairvoyant I don't know what your distant cousins third child likes to read... Yes I do gift wrap - but not when you have a line of other customers reaching to Christmas Day behind you. Yes we do have gift vouchers - now called card gift cards starting in price from $10 to $1000 - and yes that does means you can't have one for $9.50.
A customer came into the shop and asked if I would help him choose a book for a child it went something like this...
Are you looking for a boy or a girl? ( Start with the obvious first)
Girl - she's my son's defacto wife's child - not his though...
Let's see (with a scratch of the head) - about six perhaps seven no more than eight... I think...
Do you know what she like to read???
No.. (This is where a bookseller starts with the most likely and works outward)
Were you thinking of a picture book or a chapter book???
Something with words...
Do you know what her reading standard is????
(Customer just looks at me when I ask this question)
Would she like something about fairies perhaps... (Terrrible I know but standard girl question)
Nup - she lives in the country (And that says????)
How about a Girl's Own type adventure book
Nup - she's got brothers..
What about this one? (book on zoo animals)
Nup - she only knows farm animals (child is on a farm)
What about this one? (picture and story to do with farming)
Nup - she lives on a farm wouldn't wanna read about it she just needs to look out the door..
You don't know what she reads??
Nup - was told to get a book...
This conversation went on for the best part of 10 minutes as we walked around the childrens section. I pulled out every type of book that I could think of but the best comment was when I thought of a lovely picture book about the beach..
Here Sir this one is very popular...
He barely glances at it before handing it back...
Couldn't have that one. It's about water - they haven't got none.. There's a drought you know... And she lives in the country...
With that he said he had to go and 'get further instructions' and strode out of the shop leaving me gob smacked.
My work mate who had heard most of it looked around the shop before saying there wasn't a hidden camera was there????
And then onto the next customer... 'I'd like to buy a book for... '
and so this is Christmas...
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Of course now that it is home - where do we put it all!!!!!!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
* Met T from DownUnderDiscourse - another stitching blogger who welcomed me into her home with unreserved hospitality and friendliness. Thanks T for a lovely day - I have L's list for his books if you care to email me. Most titles are still in print but may have to be ordered at your local bookshop.
* Said a heartfelt goodbye to A from Feather Stitching and her mum J as A steps off onto her new adventure in another state. Although I have only seen A not more than half a dozen time over the last couple of years I felt very sad (for me) as I waved she and her mother off on Sunday night. But I have promised both A and myself a visit to her new home when she gets settled :).
* P and I went to the Oxfam second hand book sale over in Eltham - we set ourselves a price ceiling and both of us stuck to it - wonders of wonders!!!! I picked up some titles which I have been wanting to read for $2 each - cheaper than the library really. I have started a 'beside the bed' reading list in my sidebar for anyone who is interested. I tend to browse at people's bookshelves when I go visiting as it interests me to what they read. At the moment I have mixed feelings at the direction the book industry is taking - it seems less about the magic of books and more about 'making a sale at all costs' and retail undercutting...
We also took the opportunity to visit G from Patra's Place and of course her husband K whilst we were in Eltham.
On a very different topic I have been tuning into 'The Abbey' on a Sunday night on ABC television. It was a three part reality programme about five women from different walks of life who enter the abbey to take part in a 33 day residential retreat within the confines of of Jamberoo Abbey.
When the ABC had first called for volunteers to take part in this programme I was excited at the prospect of applying- unfortunately at the time I had also started a new job and with reluctance I let the possible opportunity slip by. So when I first saw the promo for the upcoming programme I made sure that I tuned in.
What can I say about the programme that 1263 comments on Monday's abbey forum didn't say.
It took me back to a time in my life when I was involved with a personal development seminar and whilst there is certainly no comparison to The Abbey - that time took me on a journey - very similar to that of the women and it proved quite a ride. But that is where any similarity ends - the Abbey was about so much more. I have provided links to the ABC site for you to have a browse.
I thought that the programme was wonderful and it left me feeling after each episode quite reflective about my own life. I have tried to put how I felt and still do feel into words but somehow the exact words elude me. For a while now I have felt that my life was missing some intrinsic element - something which was just out of reach - just beyond my grasp. I am not saying that watching The Abbey answered what that element is but it was comforting to see how others struggle with similar inner feelings. Yesterday the forum - over a 2 hour period- had 1263 comments about the programme with more than I cared to count views expressed along a similar vein. What is it that we are missing??? In this day and age of such technological advancement we seem to be moving further and further away from our core being - what ever that means to the individual. Many people it seems are seeking, a path to Enlightenment/ The Source or whatever. I find it ironic really that in our continual attempt to have everything we want we seems to have less than before.
As I watched the day to day life within the Abbey I saw the Benedictine nuns live a life of order, silence and strict adherence to pray and yet I haven't seen such contentment and peace. It was as though they knew their place in the scheme of things - the bigger picture - and wanted for nothing more than to fulfill that. Before I attract too many comments about 'the good old bad old days and religious orders' I just want to say that having reached this time in my life I too wish that I had such a profound sense of peace and contentment that was so obvious on the ABC programme.
The Abbey has had quite an affect on me as a viewer - I can only begin to imagine what it must have been like for each of the five participants and how it will continue to influence their lives now and in time to come...
Sunday, October 14, 2007
A few months back we employed a new member of staff at the bookshop - a lady who had recently moved from South Australia... Over the course of a few shifts together I learnt that she, Wendy was an artist who was wanting to try and break into the Melbourne art scene with her work. Quite a few more shifts and after meeting both E and my sister who is a ceramicist I made a chance remark suggesting that they all team up and have an exhibition locally. Wendy looked at me with a look I have come to know as a 'yes let's do it' which started a ball rolling that will see the three of them exhibiting their work at a local gallery in June 2008.
Meanwhile I was happy to have been the impetus of sorts behind this 'rolling ball' and my involvement would be me ironing the best tablecloth for the supper table and making my famous sausage rolls for opening night and general 'well being person' - nurturing these arty three... But the Universe it seems had other plans and another chance remark by me has me plunged right amongst the art so to speak...
Let me explain - for quite awhile now I have watched E developing her art in quite a few directions as part of her course. Some of her character designs I believe would lend themselves very nicely to textiles interpretation and some of her more simple sketches to embroidery or cross stitch...
Just lately she has been doing a triptych of babushka - Russian stacking dolls - when I happened to say how similar they were to the little fabric doll I started to make last summer. I had also said a couple of times how I would like to stitch a couple of her drawings just to see how they would turn out. E is more than happy for me to 'play' and has encouraged me to do so. But time is always such a factor...
Yesterday E - at the request of a friend's small daughter - painted a large babushka doll on her bedroom wall who by chance had a doona cover with a babushka design. It looked fabulous. This led me into thinking about matching decor cushions and since then my mind has since worked overtime at the possibilities of producing E's designs as soft sculptures/ decor cushions made with bright colourful fabric. Again - just for the fun of doing it and to see how they would turn out.
Somehow I have talked myself into creating some of these sculptures for the exhibition in June. All that I said was that wouldn't a couple of 3-D soft sculpture dolls look good beside the triptych and bingo I have a job to do...
To be honest I am quite excited at the thought - more of the creating than the exhibition - as for awhile now I have been waxing lyrical of wanting to replace one day's work with something I enjoy doing as well as making a little money from it. Now I have both a challenge and a goal to meet. I see this is perhaps a way of the Universe opening that door or illuminating a pathway to an unknown horizon which will enable me to bring about that dream.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Where does a person who works as a bookseller full time go in the weekends?? To a book sale of course...
For those of you who live in Melbourne there is a crowd calling themselves 'dirt cheap books' and they advertise on the telly occasionally. Most of the time I show little interest but last night the ad suggested they had one of the books on my 'most favorite' list for $4.99. I have never purchased 'The Book Thief' by Marcus Zusak- as I had read by it by chance from the library and absolutely loved it. I found it inspirational and the fact that it was an Australian author just added to it. Ever since I have had it on my ' purchase someday' list as this was one of the few books I would like to keep - most of my books are 'when I read I shall pass on' list... There is a slight problem with this plan though as I keep buying books and not actually reading them. I rarely buy contemporary fiction before I read it first but I will buy modern editions of the classics though having just bought Herman Melville's Moby Dick.
But I digress, P and I set off this morning to Collingwood to have a look at the sale and hopefully buy my own copy of 'The Book Thief'... What I thought would be a few books and perhaps an hour turned into two large floors of hundreds of titles most of them $4.99... I would say that for the most part most of these books have passed through the shop where I work over the last 12 months. So while they weren't the latest titles they weren't that old either. Judging from the boxes they were all sitting on they were MacMillan and Penguin publisher remainders - which in book speak means - leftovers, whether it be in too large a print run or simple overstock. P & I set a limit to 5 books each - which translated into 6 for him and 7 for me. All told we bought $65 of books - which considering most of these titles started their life at around the $32.95 price range we did very well indeed- in fact the bookshop I work for as do most of the bookshop will have some of these titles sitting on their shelves now for this price.
I came home with my very own ' The Book Thief' and copy of 'The Memory of Running' - Ron McLarty plus a 'how to book' and a couple of chick reads when I just want to read without thinking too much. P is more into crime genre and so he has a few more 'bodies' on his bedside table.
I laugh to myself - yesterday I bought a 'new' top for myself at the op-shop and thought whether I really needed it - today, unashamedly I spent money on books... As I said in last post I am hopeless...
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
I have done my numerology for the coming year and apparently I am entering, as of today, a Year 7 - which is a year of learning - an inner voyage. Whilst I don't allow numerology to dictate my life I do see its value and I believe that to look at it as an overview - an 'aerial map' perhaps - it does offer insight into one's life. I see it very much as a chicken and egg scenario to what comes first..
Most people see numerology as something 'out there' almost bordering on the Devil's work -in fact its founding father was Pythagoras and most of us know him having struggled with him at some point during school maths classes.
Some years ago now I had my numerology done by a well known numerologist here in Melbourne - we did not know each other - and yet she laid my life out before me - both past and present - with an exactness that was mind blowing - to say I was stunned was perhaps an understatement. It was like listening to someone who had known me all of my life... Yes, you say , but surely there was generalizations which could apply to anyone... I would agree partly in point but there were those aspects of my life that no one - unless a family member would have known and even then there were those personal traits that were 'just mine'. All these things were revealed from the numerical value of my name and my birthdate.
For a little while I pursued numerology - it fascinated me and I did one for a very 'straight up and down' friend. He scoffed at the idea that numbers could reveal anything about a person. I did quite an in depth chart and as I continued deeper I could see that indeed his numbers 'spoke' to me about him. I then looked up the origin of his name and I was astonished to see that that is too confirmed what his chart had revealed. Even his house number was conducive to both his name and work that he did - I sent his chart off to him and a few days later received a phone call - he was more than a little distant with me and I realised later after our conversation - that I had unwittingly 'trespassed' into his life - that now I knew more about him than he had been willing to share. From then on I have been cautious about doing charts for friends. An in depth chart is quite complex and offers more than just the surface value of the name - it explores the value of each position of a letter in the name and its relationship to the other numbers - this can almost plot the profile and characteristics of the person. Then there is the actual date of birth which is 'the skeleton' of the chart if you like - as unlike one's name - it never changes. Each number has its own influence and should be treated accordingly.
Numerology still intrigues me and I do consult it from time to time - I find it interesting that come end of July through August I seem to sense a change coming - I have done ever since I was old enough to recognise it - it is as if those couple of months offer a transition time from one personal year to the next. I liken to how I feel as I watch the dawn break - at first there is no indication- just the night- then very slowly the first hint of colour and light can be observed until the full new day has bloomed.
Image - The rose - (1928) Hand coloured woodcut - Thea Proctor 1879 - 1966
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
-Black Elk (Oglala) 1863-1950
Friday, September 07, 2007
Today I went back to my very first blog entry- I wanted to try and understand what had motivated me to start blogging in the first place. And why I was having such a hard time in making a decision what to do next. So if I do have any readers who still linger here please excuse my obsessed naval gazing or please just turn the page...
I had started this blog it seems as a way to try and satisfy a creative itch. I had wanted to journal and make some sense of this creative drive that continually gnawed at me. I smile to myself now as I read about the things I wanted to achieve - the kids story - it's still in the bottom draw - the stitched geese - still not a gaggle. My crazy quilting has taken a back seat along with other things that while stirred my interest at the time have lost momentum and now too are languishing in their equivalent of a bottom draw. Hm mm...
I re-read the comments which people had left me - ones of encouragement - of applauding me to have a go at what made my adrenalin pump. Some suggested that I was about to begin a wondrous journey of self discovery... Others keen to see the outcome of my endeavours...
To be honest I was not really sure why I begun blogging - sure as previously stated I thought to use it as a means to help me make sense of my creative streak. Perhaps I thought blogging might keep me honest - that I would have another reason to complete things which I had started and a wider audience in which to share them with.
I have read some interesting pieces about why people blog - I am sure we all have. Some blog because of distance which separates them from family and friends - a way of 'being present' - and in touch - some blog because of a common interest which they can share locally as well as globally. Some bloggers use blogging as a tool to extend themselves into the 'wider community' and that too can be broken down into different reasons. Bloggers even meet up - to link the blogging persona with the real time person. I have met some fellow bloggers and have immensely enjoyed the experience. We have met for a coffee and I guess in honesty looked each other over - were they who I expected them to be or was I who they thought I would be???
Part of the reason I have come to believe was simply the challenge of it - why do most of us try anything different - there perhaps is partly the answer - because it is different. Trying different things brings challenges - challenges broadens our beings and make us grow and hopefully enriches our lives. Another clue is my personality type - I like people and I like communicating - I am a people person. I can see why blogging appeals to me as it is a multi-faceted tool and one that could be used in a many ways.
I think the title also hold a key to what I wanted from my blogging - that there was a promise of something else something 'beyond' what was initially viewed. I remember choosing the image of the flying birds and the 'faded' out surround with deliberation. I didn't want to set definite boundaries and adding the image of flying there was a wordless suggestion of the limitless freedom I perceived flying brought - I perhaps at that time saw blogging as similar in as much that it doesn't have many constraints and was pretty limitless...
That also brings me to the point where I knew that I was deviating from the craft side of things to a more general blog and I worried that I was doing too much reflecting and not enough 'doing'. I wasn't really keen to have a blog for each thing I did as I knew that it took all my energy to write one let alone two. Perhaps in the end I stifled my own creativity...
Over the time I hung the 'gone fishing sign' on the front door a few times to have a break from blogging. But a break from what I now wonder - there has been no reason for me to continue at all - there was no demand that I keep blogging - no huge readership to which I was obliged to 'keep fed'. In my mind my blogging had lost momentum - it had become stale - like I felt I had become. I am not one to 'tell all' and I like to think I respect people's privacy and so I was limited in what I did write about. Real life too had picked up speed from that first entry - a full time job coupled with illness - while not life threatening- had decreased my energy levels to almost zero. Life had - as is the nature of the beast-had changed somewhat from that first entry and in many ways had taken its toll on my blogging.
I think too was my continual aspiration for my blog to be 'just perfect'. I ended up in some mad whirl of wanting it all to be 'just so'. At times I wore my self out with the frustration of trying too hard and lost sight of why I started blogging in the first place. I felt that I needed to keep updating it with all the bells and whistles so to speak so to keep the blog interesting. It was no longer a 'vehicle' for me to express my creative endeavours it became the creative endeavor itself...
Why am I so bothered as to my blogs fate - people create and abandon blogs every day without a second thought. The blogging world is littered with out of date slices of people's lives. Like a torn out diary page found blowing along the street - free out in the world - saying little - sparking one's imagination to much...
Lastly I have thought about the type of blogs which I continue to read. What makes me want to keep reading and commenting. What is their appeal - their attractiveness?? Some which I do read don't necessarily share my interests or my point of view but I continue to 'tune in' on a regular basis. Interesting...
I have decided however for the moment to have a rethink and a 'spring clean' - perhaps make some changes and decide from there the next step. Hey!! Now wouldn't that be a good name for a new blog???
Image taken from Caroline Myss Healing Cards - Caroline Myss & Peter Occhiogrosso.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Yesterday I sat matching DMC threads to the image on the front of the packet and whilst they aren’t exact I think that they will be fine.
Late last night I started stitching - not getting very far - but nevertheless pleased with the amount I achieved. The dark green tree areas are all done with 2 strands and two wraps(around needle) french knots - they were relatively easy and quick to do. I am having a little more difficulty with the distant pink hill as I cannot seem to be able to get even tension with the one strand satin stitch and I have unpicked it and redone it several times trying to get the look I am after. The foreground is more ‘rustic’ and allows for a more artistic licence approach and I might ‘run’ the design outside of the border for a little added interest. I am also toying with the idea of using this as a crazy quilt patch - not sure where I am heading with that one though. One concern is that it might not lend itself readily to being surround to multiple seams and ’crazy’ embroidery. In my mind I have placed the RowanDean just ’off centre’ - but I am unsure how that might work visually. I like the theme of a meadow setting with related aspects of meadow life appearing in other patches - somehow I think that may be a little too ambitious for me. Why can’t I think small??? But for the moment I shall just continue on stitching and see where it leads. A good holiday project to do on my time off.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
I am not sure why I don't blog now- I guess my reasons aren't too different from other people... I cannot decide whether I have 'outgrown' my blog in its current form and I need to 'revamp' or I have lost enthusiasm in blogging - for the most part I believe it is that I lack the all important element of time... At the moment my life consists of work (exhausting) and home - plus of late an elderly father who now needs more attention and assistance... The most involvement which I have is to quickly read a favorite few blogs and keep on going -I don't even log in to my own as I rarely have time to comment... The weekends just fly by taking along with it my list of good intentions - I now have to make decisions to how best I spend my free time and unfortunately blogging seems to lose everytime...
A couple of weekend ago I did a lino printing workshop and was fortunate enough to meet V - this meeting was a delightful by-product of my blogging - meeting one of my favorite blogger authors... I did enjoy our meeting V and I will honour that 'coffee morning' soon...
To those of you who have read my page thankyou for doing so and take care - to those of you who I see face to face I hope to keep doing so but please have patience with me - I haven't forgotten you...
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Between the heat, the harsher water (Stage 3) restrictions and the noise from construction (that should read, re designing, re locating) work being carried out on the local intesection and railway station (24 hours a day) for the next five weeks, the invasion of ants and cockroashes I could be certifiable - still on thinking about it - just the perfect place to catch up on some crazy quilting...
Friday, January 05, 2007
Monday, January 01, 2007
Before I forget - Happy New Year to you all... May it be a safe and prosperous one for each and every one...