Thursday, 19 November 2015

Autumn and a sewing room

While waiting for and having some work done on our French house, we've been enjoying some fine weather in the Auvergne - that is, up until the last few days, when it has become much cooler and cloudier. My husband has had some beautiful cycle rides while I've been walking and occasionally swimming in the indoor pool in Mauriac. The glorious autumn colours surrounding us when we first arrived are now almost gone, with just the occasional tree still with some brightness left.

I've also done some sewing, as I now have a sewing room, a small narrow room with its own tiny balcony, where I can leave sewing projects, instead of having to move them off the dining table every time we have a meal. I have made in it so far a dust cover for my ancient Bernina sewing machine, an infinity scarf from pieces left over from older projects (as was the dust cover) and have embarked on some machine embroidery. I'll probably still use the dining table for cutting out, as the desk (IKEA) is not very wide.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

My Wedding Dress

My Wedding Dress was made by me, using a Vogue  Designer Original Belinda Belville pattern. It has quite a lot of hand stitching round the lace edged sleeves and bodice top. Here it is on display in my local church, when there was a flower and craft festival last year. The theme was the circle of life , so included craft items and flower displays on baptisms, weddings, Easter, Christmas, tea parties and many other celebrations. The church was filled with gorgeous flower displays . My wedding was in October 1980, so the style reflects the fashion at that time. It was comfortable to wear, but as it has 17 tiny fabric covered buttons down the centre back, with rouleaux loop fastenings, is impossible to get into unaided.

Linking to
Not Dressed As Lamb
albeit a day late.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Two good reads

I've enjoyed two of my most recent reads. One was a book club read, the Wolf Border by Sarah Hall and the other was The Round House by Louise Erdrich.
Sarah Hall's  story has a fairly feisty heroine, Rachel, who starts out as a free spirit, leading a project studying wolves in Montana. She pays a brief visit home, to visit her mother in Cumbria,, returns to the wolf reservation where she is working and has a brief fling with a Kyle, a fellow worker and Native American. After the sudden death of her mother, Rachel returns to Cumbria when offered a job involving the bringing back to Britain of a pair of wolves, into a reserve set up by an aristocrat, Thomas.
Rachel settles into the familiar Cumbrian landscape, then discovers she is pregnant. There is a lot of comparison with the newly -imported wolves and their breeding and Rachel's pregnancy and eventual motherhood. Her ambivalent emotions are described very well. I enjoyed Sarah Hall's writing, which can be lyrical in her description of the local environment, and also almost staccato when describing meetings and talk between her characters. The contrast of Thomas and his son and daughters lives with Rachel and her team of co- workers is well brought out, and her difficult relationship with her younger brother and his wife, childless but not through choice is tenderly interesting and topical read, as there is much public discussion about the re-wilding of Britain; elsewhere in Europe where wolves are successfully increasing their range in the French Alps, Italy and Spain, the discussion is about how farmers might be compensated for loss of livestock attacked by wolves.

The Round House by Louise Erdrich is a quite different read.It is written from the point of view of Joe, a 12 year old Native American, whose mother is attacked and raped, The story concerns the consequences of this act for Joe, an only child , and his parents. It also covers some Native American legends, as well as the legal side of reservation life. I really cared about Joe and his group of friends as they dealt with the complexities of the adult world around them, as well as the problems the attack on Joe's mother had brought to the whole community.
I found this an interesting read, showing a part of modern American life of which I knew very little. Louise Erdrich is an award winning novelist and poet, as well as being part Ojibwe Native American, so writes from a particular point-of-view.
I had this on my bookshelves for a couple of years, then saw a copy in a French bookshop,  and plucked it off my shelves to read and enjoy.

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