Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A little bookshop in Holland

When my friend recommended a children's classic that I hadn't read, Satchkin Patchkin by Helen Morgan, I had to go hunting for it. 

The trusty Book Depository had nothing, but I followed the trail to Abe's Books, and, hurrah, there was one copy available, for only $18. 10 days later a thin parcel arrived for me from a small town in the Netherlands. Such a painless purchase, it made me stop and think. The world is getting smaller in so many ways, some of them quite beautiful.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Thirteen - a lucky number

Turning thirteen is a special milestone. For me, thirteen was an age held in the delicate balance between innocence and life experience, and driven mostly by a dreamy idea of the years ahead. It's definitely the beginning of something big, and worth a real celebration.

Although the book Doodling in French didn't appear on any birthday wishlist, it has been a real hit with our newly-thirteen girl, and with it's sweetly simple drawings and beautiful page layout (very vintage french scrapbooking style), it has already inspired a new batch of drawings.

Ice cream cake - soft ice cream transferred to a silicone cake tin and refrozen - simple, pretty and very popular (next time I am going to do layers of ice cream, plum sorbet and meringue...yum)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Big love

Happy Valentine's!

If you look close on the heart kebabs you'll see a 'millie-bite'

And a shout out to the CL christmas edition...this one is from the library, but I've definitely off to hunt it down for my much-loved christmas mag collection.

xxx Library Girl

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bookshop browsing

Today I bumped into a customer from the library, or really, today I was caught out by a customer from the library. When she happened upon me, I was burrowing through a sales table in a book shop. She giggled and exclaimed, 'I don't think I've ever seen you without a book in your hand!'

In the movie version of that moment I would have made some clever quip about a book in the hand being worth something something, but instead I just looked at my hand, and the book in it, and replied,
'yep, that's about the state of it'.

Because it's true.

But my book-ferretting efforts were rewarded. I've got a few new books to add to my bookshelf, and a few titles to save up for too, and I'll be back to wander around in Havelock North's delightful Poppies bookshop soon:

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is being heralded as the next big thing. It's written by a New Zealander (who was interviewed on Kim Hill recently). It sounds very quirky and sweet, and I think I might put it on my birthday list.

The Winemaker by Kerry Tyack sounds like a really good read, so good that I bought it for my husband for his birthday. I will let you know what he thinks.

Doodling in French was a bit of an impulse buy, but I bought it for my 12-year-old daughter's birthday. She loves to draw, and I thought it may also inspire her to start scrapbooking. As further justification, I thought I could use some of the images for embroidery (I say that quite confidently, when in fact I haven't yet found the time to embroider anything, at all). Such a gorgeous little book though, it was impossible to resist.

And then home to sit and drink tea, and admire my roses.

Library Girl x

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cecily Mary Barker

I got a card the other day from a friend who I've known forever. The message read 'this reminded me so much of our childhood'. The image on the front was a classic Cecily Mary Barker - a little fairy skipping along carrying a branch of almond blossom.

Of all the picture books we had as children, Cecily Mary Barker's flower fairy books hands-down had the most impact. 
 She created a bit of magic in every picture, and we were completely captivated!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New year, new bath

No matter from which angle I approach my stack of memories, last summer's weather lacks many redeeming features. I don't think I was the only one who decided last April that a summer without sun just isn't.

And I think it has made this summer all the more vibrant, all the more abundant, all the more appreciated. I find myself savouring things, simple summer things, as if it were the first time I had ever experienced them. Who knew what pleasure could be got from picking a basket of apricots, from riding down a (small) rapid in an inner tube, from having my cup of tea and christmas cake in a shady spot of the garden, or escaping to a patch of quiet to read.And yes, I have my escape route well sorted, and just as well, my beach bag is brimming over with bookish goodness. Here's what you'd find if you tipped it out on the picnic blanket:
      The latest Frankie and Extracurricular mags
      A borrowed copy of series 3 of The Good Word
      New albums Sad but True, Carry Me Back, and Wreck and Ruin
and an amazing, 'unputdownable' book called Room.

Wishing you a new year filled with sunshine, surrounded by the riches of good reading, and most of all, sprinkled with plenty of true, take-a-skip moments of joy (and maybe an outdoor bath too - I cannot recommend them highly enough).

love, hope, joy

I know it's been quiet around here at SLLG headquarters, but for good reason I promise. On top of Christmas, already a beautiful, but full season, we have turned our house upside down and around the wrong way, and then back to (new) normal in a major renovate, as well as hosting our wonderful french rellies. Yes, it's been busy, and I think I would be understating it to say that there has been little time for reading. 

It wouldn't feel right to launch straight into the new year without a little salute to our Christmas festivities.  Despite the endless to-do list that accompany the celebrations, I am always grateful for the essence of what the Christmas season brings, the returning to the essentials: love, hope and joy. I hope you felt the magic of the season in your neck of the woods.

St Nicholas' visit...and this pic says a lot about my tribe (not least that they need some new shoes, naughty, busy mama)

Our Christmas eve stories: Christmas Eve at the Mellops and Christmas in Noisy Village (why is it I am so taken by Northern European Christmas celebrations? Is it because Santa lives up that way, I wonder?)

 Three of my favourite things: glimpse of sunset, new french doors and christmas lights.

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