Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Books and Boy Crafts.

 I am not featuring a huge stack of books today. Instead I am showing you two of my favourite books from the last few weeks. I had a run of reads that left me feeling a little meh. But these books had me neglecting the family, the house and the world.  
Funnily enough, I really don't want to give you the full synopsis for 'Boy, Snow, Bird' by Helen Oyeyemi. I went in without knowing anything about it and was blown away by a little twist half way through the story. All that I will say is that it's set in 1960's America with a slight air of Snow White  but instead of an evil step-mother, deeply human characters. 
And as for 'The Circle' by Dave Eggers, think of a world run by a corporation bigger than google that encourages complete transparency in everybodies' actions and transactions..... giving Big Brother (the George Orwell kind, not the television version) a friendly face. Both were completely unputdownable which can be a blessing and a curse.
 So what did the boys get up to in the meantime? Hugo had a case of strep throat and worked steadily on a tapestry that he designed (awwwwww).
 Archie stripped electrical cables for copper wire and made a forest. Apparently they are for Easter and support a mini egg in their roots. Beautiful and practical considering the season!
What have you been reading?
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Friday, April 11, 2014

When Stanley was a Baby....


 Here is a photo of Stanley when he came home from hospital. 
This is Stanley in the second cot from the right in the middle row. I may be biased but I do think he is the cutest little kit there.
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Stanley is off to the Printers.

  I am so sorry for radio silence over the past week (2 weeks?). I have been flat out getting the Stanley book to the printers... it all begins tomorrow!
I thought you might like to see some photos of the sets that I used for the story. Over the next week or two, I will show you lots of behind the scenes work. For the moment, here is the sitting room. It wasn't until I took this photo that I realised Archie had been playing with his  lego hobbit and elves in the house.... 
Like all good women, Stanley's mother likes to sew. Here is her little nook.
I will let you know when the book is finished and ready to purchase (initially through etsy).
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Crochet and Botany.

 Sometimes when I am working on a project, I feel like the horticulturist that I trained to be at uni.  It is such a funny way to cross over my past and present, making flowers that are botanically - well, if not accurate, at least recognisable.
Roses give me such joy. $20 for the plant bought years ago has given me endless posies. Even with the house being such a mess, roses in the centre of the table is the best distraction.
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Hydrangea Heaven.

 Today I went to a heaven made up of hydrangeas. My friend Shar is a florist and has been percolating some ideas with her hydrangea growing friend Jane which involved me with my camera. I said yes just so I could play with all of the flowers. It was sublime.
 Here are a few peeks from today.



Can you imagine. And can you picture me running around in a frenzy not knowing what to photograph first.
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

More Fish.

 I have almost finished cracking the fish code. I just want to play around with the top fin and then it's ready. The minute my finger started feeling normal, I picked up my hook and set to work.
 Would you like a fishy kiss?
 This fish can even swim upside down.
A few scattered carcasses waiting for completion... 
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.
p.s. go and visit my mum and see her new bike here. I am so impressed... although I think it needs a bit of primping - hmmmmm.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Books for a Hurricane.

 Friday afternoon saw Archie and I at the library stocking up frantically on books to get us through the weekend. Why the frantic pace.... according to the met service, Cyclone Lusi was bowling its way towards us. Of course we did stop at the supermarket as well, food is always good at such times but really, books were top of our list.

I also had this book arrive in the mail. It is such a lovely one - I will take you for a tour another day (I am also trying to get dinner cooked so I had limited photographic time). It comes with a present in a little glassine bag secured with washi tape... 

In the end we were very lucky with the cyclone in that it delivered rain to our area with little to no damage. We lost power occasionally but had it at night - you can't ask for more than that. 
Still no crochet yet. I tried knitting last night but ended up with a throbbing finger again. Patience is required AND a good pile of books helps: 

-I am reading 'Mercy Snow' by Tiffany Baker (who writes wonderful books) and am devouring it. Set in small town America, it has a very good story line with an older mystery running through a modern tragedy.

-I have just finished 'While Beauty Slept' by Elizabeth Blackwell which I cannot recommend highly enough. It is a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale using a historic (as opposed to fantastical) spin. I couldn't put it down (which didn't particularly matter with the rain beating down) until I finished and came away feeling so sleek and satisfied. It was so cleverly told and I don't really want to tell you much more because the story is so well known that its reboot delights with surprises and I don't want to spoil that for you. So go and read it and then we can talk about it.

-If you are up for a thrill, then you may enjoy Jennifer McMahon's 'The Winter People' as much as I did. I finished it quite a few days ago but it is still haunting me a bit. She is such a good storyteller.  Watch out for the sleepers (kind of a bit like zombies but much more benign) and the snow.

Anyway, better go and check on dinner - baked potatoes and sausages with tomato jam.
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

p.s. I am often asked how I get through so many books. The truth is that I wake up earlier than I need  and steal as much time before the boys wake. I then read for a while after lunch (like my mum and granny did before me) and then will always read for as long as possible at night before going to sleep. In fact I can't get to sleep without reading for at least 30 mins. Luckily Jonno is exactly the same so there are never complaints about the lights being on. 

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