I first discovered Shaun Tan's work with The Red Tree when I was teaching in London. His artworks have a sort of mesmerising quality and he tells dreamlike stories with very powerful messages.
Before I received this book I was unaware that Tan is an Australian author/illustrator!
The Singing Bones book is actually a collection of photographs of sculptures he created to go with a collection of fifty of Grimm's tales by Philip Pullman.
This book includes 75 images accompanied by short excerpts of the tales they are from. The excerpts are written by Jack Zipes. If you are unfamiliar with the actual tales of Grimm they are much darker than the 'fairytales' we currently tell or many of us are familiar with.
Clearly the Grimms were prolific collectors of stories and there were many tales in here that I hadn't come across (even though I did do a paper that covered their tales at uni).
Of course it is Tan's work that I was most excited about seeing. His sculptures have the same dream like quality as his illustrations and each one is a true work of art. They are truly evocative and this book would be a beautiful coffee table book. Like the tales some of the images are dark and somewhat haunting. I would definitely see this as a book for older readers as well as adults.
The Secret Son by Jenny Ackland is a story told in Turkey and Australia from current and world war one eras.
The novel is Ackland's debut and it is beautifully done. It follows Cem who is both breaking free of his family and tracing his Turkish roots and it follows James an Australian left behind after the retreat from Gallipoli and befriended by a young Turkish soldier.
Both have pasts that they are unaware of and both land in the same small village. A hundred years apart their stories are woven together and connected in strange ways.
I loved this novel. It is one of those stories that seems to take you gently by the hand and lead you in but it doesn't stay gentle with you. The characters are well realised and it's one of those stories where afterwards you'd like further novels written from different characters perspectives.
There are times that I need a family tree or neighbourhood overview or cast of characters while I'm reading and I could say that for this book, although it needs to be left out for reasons of narrative in this story.
An excellent read for anyone who likes books with historical links and strong storylines.
Summer's a coming here and cool dresses are all I'll be in for the next few months. (I'll also spend a lot of time complaining about being too hot - but luckily for you you don't have to hear that).
Bounce won a spotlight voucher recently for going in for their birthday celebrations dressed up. The invite to do this was on their handout but he was the only one - he would have been the most adorable either way, obviously! - just goes to show sometimes making a small effort pays off.
Thank you spotlight $50 for Bounce, and he let me buy this piece of fabric along with the various collection of Christmas decorations and other things that appeal to a 6 year old who has a thing for glitter and soft toys.
This pattern New Look 6962 is one of the very first patterns I ever bought when I first started sewing for myself, about 15 years ago. It's super simple it has 2 darts and it's self faced. Three pattern pieces and a short morning with the machine and I have a new dress.
Sorry about the bra exposure at the back - The Atlas took the photos and he didn't notice.
I love the colours and it looks so perfect against the wisteria. Now I just need to carry around a archway of wisteria wherever I walk!
Dress - New Look 6962
fabric $10m (I bought 2m)
Shoes - Crown Vintage brand bought at an op-shop in Melbourne for $15
Sunnies - Reject Shop $5
Bracelet - second hand/ vintage shop
Hair Clip - made by HollyB
Bag - Part of a prize I won
Sewing friends how's the pin cushion treating you?
So turns out, I love being a family member but I get an F for birthday dates.
I have 2 delicious nieces whose birthdays I recently missed. Yes I know I need to hang up a birthday calendar (my sister made me one) and make sure the birthdays are written on it. Organisation is what we might call and 'emerging strength', which is kind of teacher speak for something I'm pretty rubbish at!
So I used the very simple to put together Big Little pixie coat pattern to make them matching coats. Even though they are 2 years apart I made them the same size because the little one comes from tall genes and the big one doesn't and also they live in different seasons.
Yellow buttons for one and purple buttons for another.
I adore the corduroy horse fabric, there may be enough for a skirt for the least impressive Aunty to make herself one too!
I lined the coat in pink flannelette because if I were small I'd be pretty happy living my life in flannelette.
So, how's your birthday track record? Better than mine right?
love you more than a birthday gift in the post xxx