Thursday, October 27, 2016

52 in 52 - Book 28 - Four Legendary Kingdoms - Matthew Reilly

When my *Local Bookstore* (Kmart) didn't have this on release day, I almost exploded! I've been waiting *SO* patiently... (ok... or not)
But Brad convinced me to suck it up and get the ebook, and I'll be able to buy a hard copy sometime in the future.
This book was amazing. 24 hours (including work) from start to finish! It's Jack West Jr back on the scene - but there are surprises too big to even hint at! AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

52 in 52 - book 27 - Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves - Matthew Reilly

Yes - I am impatient.
So these posts are one after the other - that's merely because my blogger app isn't working... so now I'm on the computer pumping them out. I did finish these books right at the beginning of this month! In my desperation for the new book, I devoured as many of the existing ones as I could!

Now, an army of thieves... this one couldn't be political could it? Oh yes. Once again it's a fight for global power, and a blame game on another nation!
The spoilers are too great for this one - the threat is the entire northern hemisphere being incinerated. Can Scarecrow possibly fix this... after what he's been through?

Can I survive until the 4 Legendary Kingdoms is released?!

52 in 52 - book 26 - Scarecrow - Matthew Reilly

The adventures are never ending! ANOTHER million mile a minute read from Matthew Reilly!
This book was also a bit special as it marked half way to my goal! While 52 books is my ultimate goal, making it half way seems like a huge achievement in the busy life I lead!
As always, Matthew Reilly is amazing and I loved this book - again! Who is Scarecrow saving the world from this time? The Majestic 12 - a group of the world's richest men, conducting a bounty hunt to kill 15 targets - Scarecrow amongst them - who are the only people who can disarm a high-tech missile system... the type of missile system the majestic 12 are hoping to destabilise the world order with, by making imitation bombs from various counties, and firing them on their enemies...

Does Scarecrow save the day? At what cost?

I love this book!

52 in 52 - book 25 - Area 7 - Matthew Reilly

Keeping with the trend - and because I was on an adventure high - I decided to keep reading the other Matthew Reilly books whilst I waited *ever so patiently* for the 4 Legendary Kingdoms to be released. While Jack West Jr is an Aussie ex-SAS set on saving the world from ending - and usually against the big powers of the globe, Scarecrow is a US Marine, as tough and determined as Jack West, fighting equally hard against the big powers of the globe.
Area 7 is top secret. After some embarrassing situations for the US Marines, they need to keep Scarecrow out of the media's reach - What better way than an assignment on the President's helicopter! The President is on a routine visit to the top secret facilities, Area 8 - where a new space project is underway, and then Area 7 - where bioweapon testing is going. Unbeknown to anyone the team is not working for the President any more. Scarecrow and his team have to keep the President alive while teams of highly trained and biologically enhanced soldiers try to kill him - BUT there is another factor - should the President's heart stop, 14 bombs will go off across America, due to a radio transmitter implanted in the President's heart during lung surgery years earlier...

An awesome read. I loved it! I'll read it again and again!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Creating in my spare time

There hasn't been much spare time lately, but I did have an order for some eye pillows to be used in meditation! 
The beautiful feel of satin, the wonderfully soothing textures of the filling, and the calming scent of camomile. I read a few DIY tutorials online, then set to work on my own take on it. 

The practice run came together nicely, so it was time to try the real thing. 

The perfect addition? My new tags from Ted and Toot labels! 

Worthlife is stocking these eye pillows for me! 

52 in 52 - book 24 - The Five Greatest Warriors - Matthew Reilly

We are back again with Jack West Jr, not dead, but very much alive (spoiler written on the back cover of the book, not really a major spoiler when the book is a Jack West Jr book, clearly he can't be dead...) the saga continues, the world is still in peril, to forces unbeknown.
Again, love this book, this one was finished on September 18th or 19th, and again I haven't made it to blogger until now! I highly recommend anything written by Matthew Reilly! 

52 in 52 - book 23 - 6 Sacred Stones - Matthew Reilly

Absolutely aching for the 4th book in this series, due out next month, so in preparation I've embarked on reading the series again. I've had issues with finding time to blog, paired with IOS10 blogger issues, I finished this book on September 17th :) 
As always, Matthew Reilly is an amazing writer who keeps you on the edge of your seat! I can't recommend this series enough! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

53 in 52 - book 22 - 7 Ancient Wonders - Matthew Reilly

Well, Matthew Reilly is releasing the latest book in this series later this month, so it's about time i refreshed myself on the plot line. I absolutely love his writing and this book is no exception. Following clues written in an ancient language, to unearth treasures hidden in the 7 ancient wonders of the world, to stop Europe or America from gaining world domination through an Egyptian sun ritual.... It's an amazing story! 

52 in 52 - book 21 - the Kings buccaneer - Raymond E Feist

I actually finished this one a couple of weeks ago and forgot to blog! I'll have to upload a photo later. It's another epic tale in the world of midkemia, following the royal family of the kingdom of isles, this time the youngest son of Arutha- Nick. Another attempt of the dragon lords to get back into the world through means of magic. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

52 in 52 - book 20! Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - JK Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne

Somehow news of the Harry Potter saga continuing escaped my radar until the play manuscript had been published as a book! Whilst I am not a Potterhead, and have no interest in the movies or fandom, I do genuinely love the books and enjoyed reading each of the first 7 as they were released whilst I was in primary school. I have very fond memories of sleepovers with my best friend, and her *patiently* waiting for me to finish the chapter she had just finished so that we could talk about it- that's love, no spoilers!- and so my Kmart checkout impulse purchase was this book. 

I work a half day on Fridays, and my beloved is out of town for work, so I decided that my body needed some time in the great outdoors, something that gets pushed to the back of the schedule far too often! And why not bring a book. 

Winter is such a dreadful season, unless you are in paradise! Gorgeous weather. Sunshine, pleasant breeze, and a glorious beach, all to myself. 

Three hours of serious relaxation and the adventure is already over - don't be deceived, a manuscript is formatted to take up more space than a novel, it's sadly shorter than I would have liked! 

But it is a good read, dealing with family dynamics and the crippling effects of history and choices on the present and future.

Take an afternoon off. Open a book! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Dress for a princess

This beautiful little girl turned 4, so here is the dress I made her. Floss Style Rosie Dress with fabric I had :) 

52 in 52 - book 19 - Prince of the Blood - Raymond E. Feist

 I finished another book! Whilst the reality that I need 33 books in roughly 16 weeks seems an impossible reality to finish this challenge, I'm going to persist and see how many I can complete anyway. 

Prince of the Blood was another re-read, a book I haven't read for several years. Fantasy and adventure, it is excellently written and unputdownable. 470 pages. 

Twin princess think their father, Prince of Krondor, is unreasonable and takes the fun out of life. The death of their only male cousin, and the news that no other make heir could arise due to the queen's ill health, forces their father to drive home the gravity that the elder twin, Borric, is now the heir to the kingdom- and needed to begin to think and behave as such. And his twin Erland would never be King, but must always publicly support his brother, no matter his actual opinion, lest the kingdom be thrown into civil war at the hands of disagreeing factions. 

A diplomatic assignment to travel to the land of Kesh to attend the Empress' 75th jubilee is required, and Prince Arutha takes this as the opportunity to teach his spoiled court-born sons about the world. It's a risky mission, the Keshians are known for murder and underhanded dealings. 

Just days before they are due to depart, an attempt is made on Prince Borric's life, by none other than a member of the Keshian royal family. 
To prevent risk of offence and war, plans are changed and a small party is sent off along a less direct route, to foil any others from a second attempt. 

A stopover at the magician's academy on Stardock Island sees much change- Jimmy the Hand turned Baron James falls deeply in love with Gamina, daughter of Pug, who can speak and hear thoughts - whilst reviving James who nearly drowned, she learned every secret of his life, and loved him. With this intimate knowledge of his history, he couldn't help but love her back- she was the first person he had no secrets from, the true sense of intimacy. 
The party was delayed for a wedding celebration, and then Gamina joined the travellers on their mission to Kesh. 

A sandstorm gave bandits the perfect opportunity to attack the party, looking for things of value, and prisoners to sell as slaves. Having lost his sword and won magicians robes to replace his own lost tunic in a game of poker, Borric is captured and manages to live through the deadly walk to Durbin. Though barely. 
The rest of the party regroup, and search for the Prince. They must eventually assume him to be the one dead at the bottom of a rock fall where his shoe was found, and prince Erland- now Heir to the Kingdom, must push on and not show grief to those of Kesh, he must behave as the heir. 

With the assistance of a beggar turned failed their, Borric escapes the slavers yards, but the massive hunt put on for him indicated they were aware of his identity but unwilling to share it- saying instead he had murdered the Governor's wife. 
Near death experiences follow them to the docks, a stolen boat, chase by the sea patrols looking for the escaped prisoner, and a full day of bailing out the water of the sinking boat. A rescue by a larger vessel saves the day, they work hard, the captain is fair, but suspicious, and so puts them out before the pilot boards to take the ship into Kesh. 

I wasn't planning on writing this much! I need to get to work! I may update later, if not, awesome read. You should check it out. 

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

52 in 52 - book 18 - A Darkness at Sethanon - Raymond E Feist

Instalment 3 in The Riftwar Saga, the continued battle against the army of 'the enemy' 
Another incredible work of fantasy, unputdownable engaging stories seamlessly intertwining the paths of characters from different cities, cultures, planets and times. 

More then one pot of tea was enjoyed with this saga! 
527 pages of excitement! The best bit is that despite The Riftwar Saga being now complete, there are still 27 other works in Midkemia and Kelewan for me to reacquaint myself with! 

I think next is a change of pace with "who switched off my brain" and then perhaps some Matthew Reilly to prepare for his new book release!

Despite being in week 27 and having only finished 18 books, I am hopeful that I may yet catch up! Dare to try :) 

Happy reading ( ps, read everything Raymond E Feist, and Matthew Reilly) 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

52 in 52 - book 17 - Silverthorn - Raymond E Feist

Quickly following its prequel was Silverthorn, second in the series and the saga. The war has ended, but there is other trouble afoot. The new prince's almost wife is is on the verge of death, and no one knows the cure. 432 pages of adventure and battle, fantasy at its best. I highly recommend everyone who loves fantasy to read these books!


52 in 52 book 16 - Magician - Raymond E Feist

To get back into the groove of reading, I've chosen a saga I've read before, starting with Magician, a book published before I was born and will be a classic long after I'm dead I am sure. 
681 pages of exceptional fantasy that I lost myself in at once. Following the life of an orphan boy, his best friend, and the 'Royal family' in a a small rural community, through exceptional twists and turns. The book covers about 30 years, and it's unputdownable

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Behind again! Challenging times! 52 in 52 - book 15 - parts a & b - Christmas at the Beach Cafe, Christmas Gift at the Beach Cafe, Lucy Diamond

So 52 books in 52 weeks doesn't work so well when you hit "mental block" with reading... I know that sounds bizarre, but there really are times when you just can't get into the book that you've started, and we're really enjoying.... Ah well... I worked out a temporary solution - The Beach Cafe by Lucy Diamond has a couple of Novellas based on the same storyline, so whether or not reading the two of them counts as one book, I'm not sure....  But I'm claiming it! So book 15 is 2 novellas!

Both of these novellas take place after the original The Beach Cafe (book 5 in my 52 in 52 reading challenge), The first, Christmas at the beach cafe takes place months after the original novel. Evie, the "black sheep" of the family, is thriving in the cafe left to her by her aunt - something that is surprising to her family, and almost equally to herself- and her chef turned boyfriend Ed has moved in, life is good! Evie's favourite day of the entire year is Christmas - clearly the season mentioned in the title! Evie is all set for their very first Christmas together, small, romantic, and secluded from the whole world as their sleepy village shuts down against the cold of winter. 
All this goes awry when Ed's brother turns up unannounced having just arrived back in the UK from Thailand. Evie has heard all about him and his travels from Ed - however he seems to be doing his best to make a rift between Evie and Ed, and Ed can't even see it!! As if things weren't far enough off track...
It's been a month since I drafted this post, hoping to get straight back to it.... I'm just going to publish it now....

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Busy with Nina

In the midst of all this reading, I have actually been doing some sewing! For anyone playing along at home, you can follow Jacqueline Leigh Creations on Instagram and Facebook, and my Art has it's own page on Facebook (I may combine them at a later stage).

My Bernina got her name - Nina! And we have been busy working our way through countless projects that have been collecting dust for... well, some of them, a couple of years... and getting orders knocked over as quickly as possible too!

Here's a little selection from my Instagram feed of what's been going on!

A photo posted by JacquelineLeigh (@jacquelineleighcreations) on

A photo posted by JacquelineLeigh (@jacquelineleighcreations) on

A photo posted by JacquelineLeigh (@jacquelineleighcreations) on

A photo posted by JacquelineLeigh (@jacquelineleighcreations) on

A photo posted by JacquelineLeigh (@jacquelineleighcreations) on

Saturday, April 02, 2016

52 in 52 - book 14 - Pandora's Box - Giselle Green

Pandora's box. "Contains all the evils in the world" in Greek mythology, and although the parallels are drawn here, it is not the goddess Pandora, but the mother/grandmother of the protagonists.

A handy guide on the back of this book lets you prepare yourself- 50% tear-jerker, 20% drama, and 15% each friendship and love.  

For me, the 435 pages held no tears, but it was dramatic, easy to read, and I did stay awake half the night (having started reading at 11pm), two nights in a row to finish it. 

The story of terminally ill Shelly, who has watched her friend with the same disease die a horrible, painful, and drawn out death decides she will not endure the deterioration, she will take matters into her own hands. 
And 2 years as a single mother with full time care of her dying teenage daughter has left Rachel feeling lonely and deserted- by her ex husband, by her best friend as their lives take different courses, and by her mother Pandora who is emigrating to Australia (book set in UK), but not before sending "Pandora's box" full of childhood memories, pain, and best-forgotten-secrets. 

There is love, there is pain, and moral and ethical complexities which make the story interesting and thought provoking. Great read! 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

52 in 52 books is taking over my sleep.

Well... I am loving this challenge... But it is resulting in "accidental" late nights of reading many hours past my self imposed bed time.... Yikes! 
I'm reading a book I found on sale at Kmart called Pandora's Box. If you ever want to write a book, heaps of really short chapters are really effective at stealing sleep! All the light we cannot see was similar- many short chapters, swapping between character stories, meaning the book is devoured without realising that chapters have been finished. "Just until the end of this chapter" is a lie I've told myself pretty much all my life- it's never just to the end of the chapter, but that's not something I realise until several chapters later... Oops! 

In other news, I've almost finished book 14! 

Monday, March 28, 2016

52 in 52 book 13 - Crazy Love - Francis Chan with Danae Yankoski

Amazing. Powerful. Challenging. 
175 pages plus Q&A with the author, this is a hard hitting and challenging book that urges us to walk the talk. Be literal in faith. Don't leave God at church on Sunday. Don't let anyone be surprised when they find out you're Christian- that should be evident in every breath, if you love God and behave as if you do. 

Another book I recommend and I will read again. The call to action in this book has the power to change the world. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

52 in 52 - Book 12 - All The Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr

A book loaned to me by my sister, and it was amazing. 
Not QUITE unputdownable, but pretty close! 
It's been a while since I've been captured in the world of a book whilst "getting on with real life" 

The book is a fictional story based in WWII following the stories of a French girl, Marie-Laure, being raised by her widdower father; and an orphan German boy, Werner, growing up with his younger sister Jutta, and many other orphans under the care of a French house mother, Frau Elena. 
Marie-Laurie spends her days exploring and learning from professors in the museum where her father is the locksmith and master of keys. Despite losing her eyesight at age 6, she is able to use her other senses to perceive the world in colours of a different kind. 
Rumours abound of a cursed diamond, that has made its way through the rise and fall of nations and kingdoms, being stored at the museum. And when the invasion begins, it is with a precious stone that Marie-Laure and her father leave Paris on foot, walking past gridlocked traffic, a standstill caused by the occupants of the city fleeing invasion.  Marie-Laure is unaware of the stone her father carries, and he, not knowing whether it is the cursed diamond or one of 3 copies, anguishes over the risk they will be under the curse. 
The safe house arranged for them is deserted and being looted when they arrive, forcing them to press on to the seaside village his father grew up in, to the family home still occupied by his uncle, Etienne. A man haunted by ghosts of The Great War, Etienne has not left the house in decades, his radio collection allows him to be in touch with the world. 
Werner, being an orphan, will be forced into work in the coal mine as soon as he turns 15. The very place his father died. He and Jutta spend their days exploring, scavenging for extra food for the orphanage, finding odds and ends that have been discarded, and Werner's bright mind sees the patterns, asks questions, invents. He wants to be an engineer, an inventor... He fixes a found radio, then improves it, and before he knows it he is renowned as the radio repairman for the village. It is through this that he is tested and taken in to a excellent school, not knowing at the time of acceptance that he was being trained for war. 

As you can probably tell, this book has made an impression upon me. I will not spoil any more. It is a great read. 530 pages, excellently written. I highly recommend it. 

52 in 52- book 11 - Bad Girls of the Bible - Liz Curtis Higgs

So! The bible full of bad girls? I've just read about 10 of them! Eve Potiphar's wife, Lot's wife, the woman at the well, Delilah, Sapphira, Rahab, Jezebel, Michal, and "the sinful woman" 
The "badness" of these ladies varied between one bad attitude or decision, to a lifetime of sinful attitude and bad behaviour. 
But do you know what? It's far easier to relate to the imperfect than the perfect. We aren't all shiny and unblemished. We have made bad decisions and spoken in anger and without thought... But we are forgiven through faith, just like some of these women. Eve was God's hand crafted masterpiece, not made from dust like Adam, nope, created from Adam's rib. And she made a tremendous mistake in engaging in conversationwith the serpent, exaggerating God's word, and playing the blame game!! But she still went on to be the mother of humankind. She was forgiven. Women of ill repute were forgiven, just a matter of believing Christ is God and the saviour of all, and forgiveness is there for the asking. 

In May I'll be doing a 15 minute talk on one of the ladies from this book, I haven't chosen who yet, but I'm excited. Might even get some photos! 

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

52 in 52 - Book 10 - Communicating for a Change - Andy Stanley

I've listened to this one! I have listened to very few audio books, however they are quite enjoyable. This one I started months ago (in Jan) whilst driving around the south west. It was Brad's suggestion and so we put it on and I was instantly engrossed. Not only is it well written, it's easy to follow and educational (what more could a girl ask for!) the first half of the book is a story, followed by the second half, which consolidates the theories discussed in the story. I'm currently taking a public speaking course which follows this book, so already I am part way through listening (yep, weird!) to this book a second time. I think it is great, the theories in the book seem like they will require gradual implementation coinciding with growth in public speaking skill and experience. Highly recommend for anyone who does speak publicly, whether they enjoy it or loathe it- because even if you hate speaking, if you somehow get sucked into it, you should probably brush up on it! 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

52 in 52 - Book 9 - The Princess Bride - S. Morgenstern, abridged by William Goldman

Ok! The Princess Bride is one of my favourite movies ever! And u was a little sad when I picked up this book and found it was abridged, what had they done?! But!! I quickly discovered that the movie was only the way it is because of the abridging! 

A classic tale of true love and high adventure. I loved it. Easy read, good fun. I love it and want to watch the movie again now! 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Life Left Behind

Not only have I read The Life Left Behind by the one and only Edith Copeman, but I'm seeing more and more people read this book, I'm so proud and excited! 
The Nort West Telegraph did a write up in today's paper! 

Thank you to Courtney Fowler for the great article! 

So by all accounts, you should grab a copy!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

52 in 52 - Book 8 - The Best Yes - Lysa Terkeurst

This book has taken me a bit longer to read, it's so meaty and I really feel like I need to read it again and again to glean every last bit of wisdom from it so that I may live my best life. 

Wise decisions in the midst of endless demands is certainly something that we need to do more of in the face of our endless schedules and FOMO (fear of missing out) mentalities. About 250 pages, but every single one challenges our normal decision making processes and really start to live our best yes- not overdo life, not say yes from guilt or fear, not say no for selfishness or laziness, but to analyse each and every decision, and consider all possible outcomes. 
Highly recommend this book, I will read it again and hope to have it around to look back at for many years to come! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Douglas Kirsop painting workshop

I was both excited and nervous to take Douglas' workshop at the Port Hedland Courthouse Galley on the 6th and 7th of Feb, having never had success with water colour paints, it was daunting, but I am very keen to learn new skills and further my abilities in all areas. So along I went and loved it!
We spent quite a bit of time watching, listening, and observing the techniques used. We played with colours, colour mixing, and the power of white gouache to stabilise and solidify a colour when the painting is too wet and the colours keep bleeding. 
Our first afternoon we had an attempt at copying what we could see in Douglas' paintings, something that took a lot more skill than expected, the base colours are used as a wash, then the light colours need to be laid down first, with increasing layers of darker and stronger pigment. I was fortunate enough to have quite a bit of help with the composition, after a bit of a shaky start... I learnt the importance of sketching, it's a map that holds the composition where it needs to be. 
West further work can be done once I have purchased my own water colours, this is the piece I ended up with...

Early morning outing on Sunday to sketch and watch Douglas paint what he could see, in the same way he would as a 'sketch' for an oil painting of a landscape, it allows colour, shadow, light, and tone to be captured as a reminder for when you aren't in front of the subject. We got some great photos, but the experience of being there was really beneficial. 

So the painting I came up with....

I'm pretty happy with it, I wasn't overly happy at the time, but as it dried, and I took some time, I am now quite happy, I really am looking forward to forming a habit of making a water colour sketch before painting, I'm sure it will increase my technical ability and make for more beautiful and exciting paintings. 

I am also looking into the possibility of studying under one of the artists I truly admire the work of, Sarah Nightingale. I would really like to have my art space set up properly first, as Skype lessons will require lots of effort on my part, and her teaching deserves me to be the best I can be. 

I am really excited about all 2016 will hold, it has already been pretty incredible.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

52 in 52 - Book 7 - The Life Left Behind - Edith Copeman

I was privileged enough to be the first one to read the first draft of this book, written by none other than my sister. My real-life-author, little sister. I am so proud of her. I read this as a ebook from iBooks, but it's also available to order online as a paperback or beautiful hardcover book.

This book tells a fictional tale on a very non-fictional topic - Mental Health. In Australia, and from what I understand many other countries and cultures around the world, mental health is stigmatised enormously. This actually exacerbates many mental health issues, balloons the issue quickly as the person doesn't feel they can get help to deal with it without judgement or being ostracised by those they love... And often times they are right.

The Life Left Behind covers addiction, depression, anxiety, guilt, and much more. I know more than a couple of John Green books grace the author's library, and his very raw and relatable style is echoed as the characters come to life on her pages. 

I wouldn't give this book to a child or young teen, but I urge everyone else to read it. We need to embrace those around us who need our help, and that means the mental health stigma needs to go. There is no place for it. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Farewell with Water Dreaming

 In a transient town, it's always sad to see people go, but even more so when it's been more than a few years that they have been around. 
We said see you later to our friend, Brad's boss, who has made it to over 4.5yrs, but needs to be in the city with her family, so unfortunately that means saying goodbye. 

With my beautiful Nina ready to go, I (last minute, of course) decided it was not proper if she left town without a beautiful purse, it's almost tradition as her boss received one too! 
So late night fabric stash raiding, turning the place upside down to find enough supplies (mental note: write down what you've run out of... Saves time when searching... And frustration when ordering...) 
And the wheels were in motion. Life doesn't get any less busy just because you decide to make a thing... Oh no, it's still full of commitments. So there were a couple of frustrating late nights in which I was far too tired to do anything very productive, but I did get the fabrics cut out. For some, that's the hardest bit. 

I ordered two fabrics from Alice Springs a couple of years ago, both Indigenous artwork prints. They are stunning, this one is called Water Dreaming. And the blue/purple is the remainder from another purse lining... Just enough, but it was such a stunning contrast! 

I had my first upset bobbin with Nina, making loops upon loops of thread, without the bobbin thread being engaged at all... I must have been too frustrated at the time because when I went back to it later it was an easy fix. 

So off we went, Nina proving that her price tag was testament to her quality, she is lovely to sew with. In "no time" it was coming together! 

Another decision- which purse closure to use?! Boyfriend to the rescue! He chose one that looked great, however it worked differently than any other closure I had inserted, and required the cutting of a much larger hole in the purse... Never something easy to do when it's practically finished and looking amazing...

But while I was cutting, fray-checking, glueing, and screwing, Brad was cooking dinner. This is powerful motivation to finish the job! 

So I present to you, NCW number 37: 

Front - you can see the lock folds down (usually I use twist-locks)

Inside. The colours came together beautifully. 

And beautiful Vron, you will be missed! 


Thursday, February 11, 2016


My birthday and Christmas came all at once when Mum and Dad decided they would like to buy me... A sewing machine! Mum has always had Bernina machines, and my Elna was made almost a decade before I was born, so a little upgrade is VERY EXCITING! 

She has yet to be named, I had a little play yesterday, however most of my sewing room is in boxes at present! 

Out came the scrap bag and a little wool pouch. I played with the stitch settings and she sews like a dream. A couple of orders have already come through for this year, as well as one that needs finishing from last year, so she's going to be a busy little machine! 

I'm so excited for all that this year holds. 
God bless! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

52 in 52 - Book 6 - The Dressmaker - Rosalie Ham

The second book I managed to read (on one domestic flight- Australia, you're a mighty country!) was The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham. This is an Aussie book, set in Victoria, and recently has been released as a movie. I heard about the movie before I knew it was a book, but still haven't seen the movie. 
Just under 300 pages, another great read. 

Small towns are often full of drama and gossip, and Dungatar is no exception. Myrtle "Tilly" was forced to leave town as a young child, ostracised because her mother was unwed, abused by her school mates, and blamed for the death of one of her bullies, she was sent away to school in Melbourne, against the will of her mother, who was kept in the dark about her whereabouts and slowly lost her sanity whilst missing her daughter. 
Leaving school in Melbourne to study dressmaking across the globe, she became an exceptional seamstress and designer. Personal tragedy left her feeling alone and defeated, prompting a decision to go back to find and look after her mother. When she couldn't make letter or phone contact, she knew there was no option but to go back to Dungatar. Finding her mother neglected and mad, she fed and nursed her, cleaned and aired the house, and slowly her mother's sanity was restored- though her acid wit was still a constant companion. Though the majority held on to their pre conceived opinion of Tilly, a few were her allies. Tilly's exceptional skills gained her work from the villagers, though not respect or payment - it seems there were cash flow problems due greed and "priorities" 
Vicious and hateful, the village seems doomed from the start, Tilly gets her revenge in the end, leaving the town in her wake with her beloved Singer after the death of both her mother and the man she loved. 

I can't wait to see the movie! It is always good to see someone else's interpretation! 

Happy Australia Day!! 

52 in 52 BOOK 5 - The Beach Cafe - Lucy Diamond

A whirlwind trip across the country for a wedding is always a good opportunity to get into some new books! 8 took the book I was reading with me, but found another 2 at the airport and read both of them whilst away - now I'm back I can get back into The Best Yes ( as well as an audiobook I'm listening to, and an ebook that's on the go....) 

So, The Beach Cafe was a nice easy read, a little under 500 pages, a story of trials and success. Evie has always been the black sheep of her family, and following the tragic and untimely death of her Aunt, she inherits a cafe on the beach in the village that she spent countless childhood holidays. Her family has only doubts in her ability to manage a cafe, and are convinced failure is the only outcome unless she sells the cafe. 

Walking out of a workplace filled with sexual harassment and abuse causes tension between Evie and her long term boyfriend, who is a serious, sensible man, not at all fond of spontaneity or things he deems "irresponsible". Evie heads out of town to her new cafe to try and sort out the staff and how the cafe is actually - a far more daunting task then expected when she comes against upset and angry locals who miss her Aunt, also believing the gossip that Evie will take the easy way out and sell the cafe to some hot shot developer; staff who leave much to be desired; and a cafe surrounded by rubbish, tables filled with dirty dishes, no stock in the kitchen, and customers being served off ham in their sandwiches... Not a great start! 
When her temp agency calls to let her know another position has come up, she feels she has no choice but to go back to the city, her boyfriend, and the harsh judgement of her family. But this position is horrible too, and the judgement of her family is getting her down... 
A candid conversation with her best friend gets her mind ticking... A phone call from her only friend in the village with bad reports about the cafe staff makes up her mind...
Deciding to leave her new job and to go back to her cafe. 
A decision that pushes the tension in her relationship to breaking point... 
So Evie and her best friend pack up all of Evie's belongings and jump in the car without looking back. 
The hurdles just keep coming, it seems nothing can go right for Evie, but she is determined to finally succeed. Her cafe grows in strength and popularity, regaining the joy that it had under the hands of her Aunt. Finally Evie belongs, this is her village, and they embrace her and her cafe. 

Light reading, enjoyable read, good fun.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

52 in 52 - book 4 - Flash - Rachel Anne Ridge

15 minutes into the 14th day of the year, I've finished my 4th book! Flash is the story of a homeless donkey who single handedly turned the lives of a Texan family upside down when he appeared late one night on their long driveway, beaten up and belonging to no one. As time passed and no one claimed him, he was given the name Flash, and became part of the family. Through the ups and downs of family life, Rachel tells her own story. When life seems to hit rock bottom, she observes the incredible resilience of the scruffy but charming Flash, and finds a number of God truths she needs for her life mirrored in the way that Flash lives his. A heartwarming and at times heartbreaking true story, laughter and tears! This book will definitely be read again, more than once!!