05 December 2016

Studio inspiration

For issue 82 of Quilters Companion magazine, I was fortunate to share with readers a peek of Prue Noonan's textile studio.

Writing about other quilters' studios is always a privilege. I love learning about how they are set up and how materials are stored. Best of all, I enjoy describing the ways a quilter uses her space to create unique textile pieces. 

Issue 82 is currently on sale, so you can read about Prue's studio, too!

28 November 2016

Do you know about BookBub?

I discovered BookBub only a few weeks ago and, since then, have enjoyed receiving daily alerts about discounted and free ebooks. You may like to try it, too?

How does it work?

You join online here (it's free) and then choose the types of books you like to read and the authors you want to follow. Every day after that, you will receive a brief email with links to limited-time free and discounted ebooks. You can then browse the deals and download your selected ebooks to whichever of your devices you prefer.

Why would you want this?

You may discover stories you would never have come across before, by authors you've not read before. I have downloaded over ten new-to-me novels since I started using BookBub. 

How come it's free?

BookBub is a marketing tool for authors to connect with readers and they (or their publishers) pay for their books to be featured. All authors want to expand readership of their books so it's a win-win! You can read about BookBub's marketing tips for authors here

Here's a sample screen showing some of the ebook offers tailored to my selections. You can change your selections at any stage.

So, if you would like to widen your reading habits and you like to read ebooks (I know a lot of you prefer print format but BookBub won't help with that), why not try it? It's fun and easy.

21 November 2016

Can you change it?

Life can be complicated but some people seem to make it even harder than it needs to be. My philosophy is simple: I try to avoid worrying about events I can't control and, instead, attempt to work out what I can change to achieve what I want for my life. 

There are only two answers to this question - yes or no - so the choices are clear.

Can you change it? YES

Do it. Take whatever action required to make the change. 

It may be able to be changed quickly or could take ages. My step away from my 22 years of work in a public library into the world of quilt magazine writing and editing took me several years and a huge leap of faith to achieve but I did it. Now I combine the two work strands and am happier for it. 

Never lose faith if you want to make a change in your life.

Can you change it? NO

Stop whining. You can't change everything you want to be different.  

No one wants to read streams of complaints about how you don't like the government or the weather. Can you change either of these things? If you can, do something about it (good luck with changing the weather - it's more powerful than you). If you can't, stop grumbling about them.

Go find something else to make your life happier.  

Does this seem too simplistic? It's not always straightforward but it works. Go on, try it - I dare you!

14 November 2016

Character building: architect

It's a long process, researching and preparing to write stories. One of my current stories involves Janis who, as part of a new stage in her life, forms a relationship with an architect. 

Part of fleshing out the characters involves learning about work-related traits. This gives me a feel for the type of person I'm creating as I can work out what has attracted them to their professions. It's interesting learning about different types of jobs! 

Please say hello to my character Greg, who is an architect.


  • have excellent communication skills; they especially know how to actively listen and negotiate
  • believe firmly in collaboration; they know that without their clients' vision and their design and building colleagues' skills, their projects will not be successful
  • are creative thinkers; they can say 'what if?' and imagine potential outcomes
  • are great with details yet can still see the big picture
  • are flexible, adaptable, and patient
  • have good drawing and sketching skills
  • are curious; again asking the 'what if?' questions
  • are multi-skilled, with knowledge of business, marketing, real estate, and construction
  • have solid technical abilities; their buildings won't fall down
  • are problem solvers; this ties in with being flexible
  • are well organised
  • have a passion for their work and a strong work ethic.
Are you an architect or do you know one? What other traits of this profession would you add to my list?

07 November 2016

My book of the month: November

Since I read so many novels, I'm always surprised and delighted when I discover a new-to-me author. I hadn't read any Chris Brookmyre books before but this one looked intriguing so I thought I'd try it.

Wow! It's a fabulous thriller, told from two perspectives: the chief murder suspect and an investigative journalist. Nothing is as straightforward as it seems. The plot twists kept me intrigued until the end was revealed!

The journalist is Jack Parlabane. This is the seventh book in the Jack Parlabane series but Black Widow certainly succeeds as a stand-alone story. I'll be immediately seeking the first six books so I can start reading from the beginning. I love discovering a new series!

You can read more about Black Widow on Goodreads

31 October 2016

Thank you, Quilters Newsletter

This is the cover of the last issue of Quilters Newsletter. Mine arrived a couple of weeks ago and I'm still sad that I won't receive any more.

The title was started in 1969 by Bonnie and George Leman. Think of how much has happened in the magazine and publishing world since then! It's a tribute to this magazine that it has survived for so long.

I still remember the first time I discovered Quilters Newsletter. It was about 1982, when I was working in my first library job. There was a patchwork shop, The Quilting Bee, a block from my workplace and I enrolled in a sampler class there. (Yes, we all made sampler quilts, didn't we?)

There weren't any Australian quilt magazines then. The first, Down Under Quilts, started in 1988 and I immediately snapped it up - I think we were all eager for information about the local quilt scene - but until then, Quilters Newsletter was my source of quilt information.

I've bought every copy of Quilters Newsletter since then. It was and still is my favourite of all the quilt magazines around because it has great articles. They are meaty and interesting and make great reading. 

I like a magazine that exposes me to different aspects of the quilt making world. I love reading about the history of our craft but I also enjoy contemporary developments. Quilters Newsletter gave me all that and more.

Thank you, Quilters Newsletter. I'll miss you.

10 October 2016

Have you ever looked at a seed pod?

I found this seed pod while I was walking around a local botanic garden and found myself immediately picking it up from the ground. The shape intrigued me.

Look at the gentle curves and the twisted shape. No flat outer shell here!

I flipped it over and looked at the other side. Its outside is tough and covered with freckles.

A closer look revealed a surface that is rock-like in its appearance, with ruddy earth-like colouring. What a clever way to protect the seeds, the life within.