when art and op shop collide

I know I said I hadn’t been to the op shop for ages.  And I hadn’t.  But being the  person that I sometimes am, just writing that down made me determined to prove the statement wrong.  And so I have in fact been to the op shop 3 times in the past week.

But I HAD to go …

1.  I needed new pants (trousers and jeans and the like – it seems winter may well be approaching now after all).

2.  I need images for collage.  And for copyright reasons I need to use magazines and publications that are over 25 years old.

I already had a whole lot of old knitting pattern books (quite possibly the funniest pictures of people posing ever taken).  To this I have now added a book of great landscapes of the world, some National Geographics, some cookbooks and then I found a copy of an old House and Garden Kitchen, Bathroom and Laundry special release.

I could happily spend many days of my life looking through these mags at op shops and thinking about how I could use them … but I am going to hold back now until I get to Anglesea op shop.  They have loads of old holiday house magazines and they are usually only 20 cents a pop. There’s bound to be some rippers …

In the interim, here are some of my collage ideas …

How insane is this photo of the chick with the steaming thingy?  I can just imagine her  steaming this waterfall.  Or, perhaps if I reversed her she could be blasting the clouds into this peaceful rural scene …

And then there are the photos below … it would be fun to swap the bone carving for a person.  Here are 2 options.  The girl in the hard hat already looks like the hat is squished down on her and might look nicely squeezed, fitted between the finger and thumb … but I do like the attitude of the girl in blue and I like the idea of her balancing a little precariously … And I like the lines in this one.

And what about this?  Kids playing in the city could look good.

I think collage and I might be friends – it certainly appeals to my sense of humour (although careful cutting has never been my strong suit – I blame my left handedness – so we’ll have to see).

mid-strength summer reading … favourite 3

I love reading.  Especially on holidays.  But I am a mid-strength chick.  I’m not in to too much gore, violence, mystery or suspense (I make an exception for romance – I do like a bit of that on occasion, and I am not too fussy in this genre).  So … I don’t mind a tear or two, but not uncontrollable sobbing.  I don’t generally want detailed drawn out deaths or endless gratuitous abuse.  You know what I mean?  Have I said this before?  Probably.

So anyway, I read some great mid-strength books this summer.  Here are my top 3 recommendations, if you are at all interested …

1.  The Muse – Jessie Burton

My only new book.  I loved her first book The Miniaturist (so consider this a bonus recommendation) which was set in Amsterdam at the height of the Dutch East Indies Company.   

And this one set in Spain at the time of the revolution was good as well.  The story moved back and forwards in time  and from England to Spain with an underlying mainland Europe arty theme, and resolved itself satisfyingly.

2.  The Snow Child – Eowyn Ivey

Set in Alaska it is a little bit Little House on the Prairie (that frontier stuff) and a little magical and fairytale-ish, like Isobel Allende.  And really beautiful and interesting.  The ending was great and very memorable.  And that’s saying a lot for me.  Because I often know I liked a book but can’t remember much about it.  Thanks for lending it to me Cate!

3.  State of Wonder – Ann Patchett

Haha!  The basic idea still makes me laugh in a very cringey way … being mid 40s with 3 kids under my belt there is no way on earth I’d want to be having babies for my whole life.  My body’s ability to ‘bounce back’ was lacking even in my 30s!  Mums, you should read it!  And not just that bit.  Great characters.  A super story. 

And … Ann Patchett’s new book Commonwealth is meant to be excellent too (you can read my friend Katrina’s review here).  It’s top of my list, and I went to borrow it from the library as soon as I got home from holidays but it had 15 reserves – yikes!  Others must have heard it’s good too.  And yes … another bonus recommendation.

Happy (rest of summer) reading to you.

i officially finished xmas shopping yesterday …

At 1pm.  This year I did all the shopping for the kids in a 24 hour block … and I am still reeling from the shock of how much I spent.  Even though I tried to stick to buying things that they need  … rather than hamsters in the house, and hatchables, and the other crap they want (because they watch too much Go!). There’s a certain delusion in shopping over a 6 month period obviously (because I bought just the same amount of stuff as every other year).

Anyway … I have now moved on to a 24 hour cleaning frenzy.  With only 9 hours left, because we’re having neighbours for drinks at 5pm.  I like a target for cleaning so it doesn’t drag on endlessly!

Then we’ve got quite a relaxing Xmas day coming up where I am cooking something nice for only us and our respective parents … which will be a pleasure.

And then … this.  And the beach …

My holiday book pile of second hand books is growing and I am looking forward to diving in.