31 July 2014

New garden Facebook page

Are you a garden lover, like me? Do you want to find out more about growing flowers, trees, shrubs, and vegetables and be inspired by photos of gorgeous gardens? You do? 

I have started a new Facebook page for people just like us: Garden Magic. There are links to interesting sites you may like to explore (and share with your friends). Pop over there now and say hello!

Let's nurture our gardens and make our little patches of earth greener places.

30 July 2014

This is the magic

This is why I create a garden: to focus on the positives of life. Last week, I planted borage seeds in small peat pots. Overnight, the first seed showed its head to the light.

This is the magic.

28 July 2014

Public libraries are important!

Before you read the rest of my post, please note this disclaimer: I am a librarian who has worked in NSW public libraries for nearly 30 years. 

I love words - reading and writing them. Enticing people to enjoy these same things is the reason I became a librarian. Along the way, I have developed skills (too many to list here) that I use in different ways, including writing for magazines, and editing magazines and books.

Did you know that library funding in NSW was once split 50:50 between the state government and local government? Aah, those were the days.

At present, the NSW state government contributes only seven cents out of every dollar and local councils now have to fund 93% of the cost of providing public libraries. The NSW state government contribution to libraries is the lowest of all states in Australia.*

How can you help change this? I'm glad you asked!

* For more information about how you can influence the NSW state government to pay its share of public library funding, visit the NSW Public Libraries Association website

Remember, 2015 is an election year in NSW so make your local representative know that public libraries are important to you and that you want them properly funded.

22 July 2014

Yes, I had too many books

Do you remember this post where I talked about how I was prepared for reading during my break from my day job? 

I confess I was a little, well, over-prepared. I'm back at work tomorrow, so let's see how many of these titles I finished - nine. Not too bad?

Three faves from these piles are:

The Book of You by Claire Kendal

Dancing on Knives by Kate Forsyth

You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz 

I still have ten piled up to read but that's ok - I hate not to have a choice when I start a new novel. Happy, happy.

20 July 2014

Being an optimist

It's difficult to be positive when we see so much unhappiness and misery in our world. Why do so many men seem intent to murder? You don't see women firing missile launchers at passenger planes; you don't see women shooting classmates with guns. What is it about being a man that creates this violence?

I don't have any answers - I wish I did. All I can do is try to see the good in life instead of being overwhelmed by the bad.

19 July 2014

Five favourite quilt sightings in movies

Watching movies on DVDs is my preferred way of viewing - no advertisements, no interruptions, and all the home comforts. Movie makers could easily increase their audiences, though, by adding quilts. 

Don’t we all appreciate spotting a quilt in one of the scenes as the high point of any film? That’s why we love those bedroom scenes: not for the steamy sex (oh no, that might damage the quilt) but for the game of 'name the quilt block' we all play. (Well, maybe the steamy sex might be an attraction - quilts do wash well!)

Anne of Green Gables - aah, who doesn't love this series of movies, based on the books by L M Montgomery? Along with many other afficionados, I've often dreamed of visiting Prince Edward Island.

 You've Got Mail - a romance that includes another of my favourite things: bookshops. Beautiful quilt on Kathleen Kelly's (played by Meg Ryan) bed!

 Baby Boom - Diane Keaton how I love you pl
aying the role of businesswoman, J.C. Wiatt. After inheriting a baby, she escapes to the country (as you do).

The Descendants - apart from featuring George Clooney, this movie also includes
exquisite Hawaiian quilts. Swoon.

How to Make an American Quilt - this is the movie most mentioned in the same sentence as the word 'quilts'. Members of a quilting group share memories while stitching a wedding quilt. 

So, over to you. What are your favourite movies that include quilts as props? There is quite a long list on Quilt Views if you need to refresh your memory of some old favourites.

I look forward to reading your suggestions!

17 July 2014

Speaking in code

A friend and I were in a coffee shop some years ago, discussing the blocks we'd recently received in a block swap. The waitress kept glancing at us and we couldn't work out why. It wasn't as if we were taking up a table for hours on the strength of a drink each. We were enjoying the lunch the waitress had delivered.

Then I realised: she had overheard me say, 'the geese fly clockwise'. No context, just 'the geese fly clockwise'.

Were we plotting to overthrow the government? Were we undercover agents, planning our next move?

No, I was just telling my friend how the colours in our Dutchman’s Puzzle swap blocks were to be arranged. We were speaking in code!