2016 Reading List

52. The Power of Us - Sir Ray Avery, Cameron Bennett & Adrian Malloch
Really enjoyed this.  Wonderful insight in to our Selves as New Zealanders.

51. Painted Paper Art Workshop - Elizabeth St Hilaire
An art techniques for Mixed Media book. Essence is in painting your own paper for collage, from Clothpaperscissors.com.

50. The Creative License - Danny Gregory
Enjoyed this, but at the end of the day it is almost 200 pages of 'give yourself permission to draw and get on with doing it'. It hasn't moved me to pick up a pencil. Loved the illustrations, examples and the font of the text - block hand writing. I read it but didn't draw, and I kept wanting it to tell me something different ... but no idea what that is.  Prehaps I need to write my own book???

49. Eco Colour - India Flint
Botanical dyes for textiles - uses plant material cooked up to dye fabrics.  Great infon to use as a resource when getting in to this.

48. The Decorated Page - Gwen Diehn
One of my all time favourite authors for journal creativity. Book is one of techniques and styles with many different journals pictured.  I'd buy this!

47. Connected Cloth - Cas Holmes & Anne Kelly
The works include line drawings with sewing machine stitch and lovely laces and mixed fabrics. I'd love to be able to master this feel in a work.  Great section too on staging exhibitions and the different elements required.

46. How to do Cryptic Crosswords - Vivien Hampshire
You know that double intendo stuff that the English seem to do so well in hamming it up comedy - Well reading this about how to do these crosswords is really a complex rendition of thinking that stuff up and finding the answer.

Have decided to purchase and pursue becoming upskilled in this new (for me) type of puzzle mind benders.

45. Urban Sketching - a complete guide - Thomas Thorspecken
If you want to learn about perspective and vanishing point then over half of this book is dedicated to it using urban settings as examples with great diagrams and explanations.  It had some really great pointers and is probably a book I will return to ... once I've had the courage to go on an Urban Sketching expedition.

44. Lady Cottingtons Pressed Fair Letters - Brian Froud and Ari Berk
I was prompted to read this after seeing an Altered Book which used this as the basis for it.

I loved the Lady Cottingtons creativity in creating a response letter from a famous person to her enquiries about fairies. 19 letters in all including Rudyard Kipling, William Shakespear, Madam Blatvatsky, JM Barries, Carl Yung and Queen Victoria and each one written to express the personality of the author.

Loved It.

43. Creative Quilt Challenges - Pat Peese and Wendy Hill
I liked the idea of this book that provides new ways to explore your quilting, but I found that many of them I had already engaged with at some point already in my quilting career.  Great for someone new or experienced and looking to extend.

42. Colored Pencil Collage - Kelly Hoernig
Want to add this to my personal collection of books. The detailed nature works on layered pages are gorgeous.

41. Common People - Alison Light
A family history, but more than that it shows what all genealogists learn, is that we share a common social history and that can illuminate the facts that we find in archives, bringing 

The language is rich and evocative: 'women were the walking wounded'; 'what I took to be a tradition of sing-song was evidence of our lack of tradition, our migrations and re-locations and flittings, of people who found themselves marooned in the tenements and slums, or bombed out and rehouse'; 'in singing we found a settlement in the past'.

40. My Last Duchess - Daisy Goodwin
A rich girl to a Title story. Really enjoyed it as the plot developed ... and then it came to an abrupt end ... when it could have been so much more. If I was a writer this would be a good book to take hold of and write a new ending.

39. Long Diaries Tall Tales - Maggie Grey
Narrative textiles and techniques. I really enjoyed the 'forms' and the details - more so than the techniques.

38. How Full is your Bucket - Tom Rath
Positive energy - one drop at a time

37. Metamorphosis Marilyn Monroe - David Wills and Stephen Schmidt
"We know how much of Marilyn was maquillage ...". "She used her face as a blank canvas to create a gallery of looks and characters that are now legendary."

This book takes hundreds of images of her life from Norma Jean to Marilyn Monroe and divides them in to five periods covering 20 years, that show the changes - either from her own volition or to advance or alter her career.

Marilyn has been quoted elsewhere as saying: "It takes five hours to become Marilyn".

Allan "Whitey" Snyder, her make up artist was exacting about all her make-up: "I'd outline her yes very clearly with pencil, but I'd make a peak right up -- say almost three-sixteenths of an inch above the pupil of her eye and then swing it out ... from there on was where we put eyelashes. Her eyebrows came toa point as far out as I could get them to widen her forehead. So I'd bring them to a peak just outside the centre of her eyes and then sweep down to a goo-looking eyebrow."

I've realised that sub-consciously as a teenager shaping my own that I might have been using this model! How very extraordinary!

Marilyn signature look appears natural but when looking at these photo's closely, it is evident how un-natural her eyes look.  Revelation!

Maquillage: The total ensemble of cosmetics and costume; the manner of being put together. (Websters Dictionary).  I love this word - I think it is delicious!

Really enjoyed this book.

36. Real Life Journals - Designing and using handmade books - Gwen Diehn
Fantastic illustrations, photo's and instructions for making a variety of materials. I liked that a chapter was given to consideration of the end purpose of the book as part of the decision making process for which style of book would suit best.

35. Royal Weddings Through Time - Janette McCutcheon
I brought this book in a 'withdrawn sale' for $1, primarily for the pictures for some mixed media work, but I don't think I will cut it up. Instead the pictures will supplement another royal book that I've had for years about royal kings and queens of england. So interesting to see who the stories are about.

The other lovely thing about this book is that it is evidence that anyone with a dream can write and have a book published.

34. The Wedding Cake Tree - Melanie Hudson
The Author tells this story in a delightful way with twists and turns to the plot which moves along at a cracking pace.  I listened to this one (11.25hours) over the weekend, most of it snuggled up in bed or rolling while I did other tasks.

The story tackles the question of 'how well do we really ever know someone?' even if we think we do and establishes a lovely family tradition of tree planting as a way to remember people.  Thoroughly enjoyed this.

33. The Storm Sister - Lucinda Riley
This is Ally, the second sisters journey of discovery of her family heritage, she discovers her Norwegian and wonderful musical history.  Really enjoyed this book as well.

32. Marilyn - Intimate Exposures - Susan Bernard
Bernard of Hollywood captured the transformation of Norma Jean Baker in to Marilyn Monroe through his photographs. The book is an interesting journey.

31. The Storyteller - Jodi Picoult
This author is a first time read for me.  Great storytelling, weaving threads of lives together; suggesting and leading the listener to the wrong conclusion - almost to exactly the last sentence!

30. Stitch Stories - Cas Holmes
This is a yummy book! It explores textiles as a narrative medium to tell stories and record ideas. A quote from the book on Places, Spaces and Traces:

"At some point, all artists need to find their own approach to their subject matter, enabling them to make work that is meaningful to them and produces an individual take on the world. The motivation behind our desire to make things is as relevant as they way we make them. For me, journeys strike a particular chord.  Travel takes place in the mind as much as across land or even continents.  The anticipation of a journey not only prepares me for what is to come but it is also sweet with expectation about what I might do on arrival.  I use the time spent travelling to think, and to make connections between my home territory and the destination."

29. Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis - The Untold Story - Barbara Leaming
This is a really interesting read as it explores the idea that Jackie BKO struggled with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) for 31 years following the asasination of JFK.  I found it riveting. I thought it also cast a light on our social behaviours in castigating others for their behaviour when we don't truly understand, experience or realaise a story from their perspective.  Made me want to read more from this author and there are many titles to choose from.  Really recommend.

28. Creative Paint Workshop for Mixed Media Artists - Ann Baldwin
A book of techniques, beautiful images and exercises to try the techniques. Enjoyed chapter 6 on Combining Words and Paint.  Words shrouded or masked in tissue paper, drawing the viewer in to the work. Now to transfer it to fabric ...

27. JFK - The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assissinate John. F Kennedy
- L. Fletcher Prouty
Prouty's theories inspired the Oliver Stone movie JFK.  It's really really revealing. Found the history of how the Vietnam War came about.  Prouty throughout his military career was a witness in the time of the details he reveals.  History has put him in a position of events which at the time maybe don't seem connected, but hindsight paints an enlightened picture.
This book was really engaging.

26. His Dark Lady - Victoria Lamb
Second in the novels about Elizabeth I.

24. Layer Paint Stitch - Wendy Dolan
Great pictorials to show stitching white  textile scraps before embellishing with thick paint, thread painting.  Applies water based screen printing ink with palette knife, heat fixed with iron; image transfers then thread.

23. Amy Snow - Tracy Rees
A treasure hunt to reveal the secrets of two key Victorian women, and a few other player along the way.  Enjoyed listening to this while crafting.  Didn't require too much concentration, but was fascinating enough to keep me engaged in the plot.

22.  In Old Mt Albert - Dick Scott
very interesting to see the early landscape of Mt Albert.  Became a bit bored with it as it focused on the establishment of various public service boards and councils.

21. The Queen's Secret - Victoria Lamb
Mystery and intrigue - a novel about Elizabeth I.  Enjoyed it as a light read.

20. Hyper Nature - Philippe Martin
Incredible book of close up images of the smallest of things in nature, like crickets, dragonflies, mushroom and sea life.  Images are about 14 inches square and the details and colours, shapes and textures are incredible.  Fantastic for stitchery or linocut work.  


19. The Seven Sisters - Lucinda Riley
Seven sisters, all adopted and named for the Pliades.  Their father dies at the same time as a Greek Tycoon.  The girls are left clues to their idenities and their stories.  You get the information that somehow these girls hail for different parts of the globe.  The first book is the story of Maia - born in the favelo in Brazil, despite being from one of the wealthiest of Brazilian families. As her story unfolds that of the second sister begins, and the mysterious circumstances around their father's death begins to emerge.

18. A Question of Belief -Donna Leon
A police mystery investigation with many story lines set in Venice.

17.  River Cottage - Light and Easy
I had this on the couch and when dinner time rolled around thought to myself what have I got in the fridge ... and every time, this book had a recipe that I could easily achieve.  Loved it.  Another cookbook to own!

16.  The Sketchbook Challenge - Sue Bleiweiss
Utterly inspiring with visuals and ideas to try.  Loved the 'new' form/size of this book.  There is much to try here.  Another 'own it'.

15.  Adventures in Design - Joen Wolfrom
Joen is a very skilled teacher who knows her stuff and has examples of quilts that accurately illustrate the design feature that she is teaching.  There is so much in this book and it builds on her other books and is the Ultimate Visual Guide for the quilt artist.

14.  Drawing and Painting the Seashore - Agathe Havermans
Loved this book - want to own it!  Loved that it made me aware of the pastel colours of the seashore and the way the artist divvies the objects found there into geometrical shapes to show you that you can draw it.100 pages of bliss!

13.  Camelot's Court - Inside the Kennedy White House - Robert Dallek
A detailed account of the contentious issues of JFK's presidency.  So detailed that sometimes it is heavy going - but it was informative.

12.  Grand Canyon River at Risk - Wade Davis
This was an awesome read - really informative and is the book that accompanied the IMAX movie made about the River, the Journey and Time.  The river journey was made by Wade Davis and Robert Kennedy Jnr and their two daughters, who were about to head off to college.  Here's a synopsis, of extracts from the text:

The Colorado River is in drought; it's two man-made leas, Lake Mead behind the Hoover Dam, and Lake Powell above Glen Canyon have been reduced by drought to between one third and a half of their normal capacity. Normal is no longer normal as scientific models suggest --- they may never be full again.

Fewer than 25,000 people a year raft the Colorado from Lee's Ferry to Diamond Creek. Over 3.5 million come to Lake Powell for recreation.

The volume of water coming down the Colorado river is at it's lowest ebb since measurements began around 1923.  Data suggests that the drought is here to stay. More water is exported from the river than any other river in the world. Thirty million people - the entire Southwest and Southern California depend on the river.  The driest States are the fastest growing and each year water and power demand increases.

Coming Generations will have no choice but to solve through conservation the water crisis that has been bequeathed to it from the last century.

In 1967 when Robert Kennedy Jnr and eight of his brothers and sisters set out to raft the river with their father, Lake Powell was still filling.  Together with the Hover Dam located, three hundred miles down river; they promised to irrigate a thirsty wet, generate hydro power and create recreational lakes.  That 1967 journey, inspired a "love of white water" and a passion for rivers, leading Robert Kennedy Jnr to become the USA's foremost advocate of water and river conservation.

The Colorado River no longer reaches the sea, but is dying in the desert.  What was once a dynamic and specialised ecosystem in the greatest monument to the USA's national heritage, has been  transformed into a plumbing conduit between the two larges reservoirs in the country.

The River is a poster child for bad river management hijacked by power and water agencies to favour hydro production over managing the river a national park.


11. Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear - Elizabeth Gilbert
Ideas for thought for me from this book are:  
* Hold on to your sources of income so that you do not burden your art/creativity with the responsibility of paying for your life.  Don't let your dream of living off your creativity turn in to a nightmare.  "Become your own patron".
*Does it love you?  "Do you love nature?" "Do you believe that nature loves you in return?"
Now - change out the word nature for 'Art', 'Writing' or some other word.

10. Full Circle - Roberta Grieve
A story about change in women's lives with the event of World War I.

9. The Life Size Guide to Insects and other land Invertebrates of New Zealand - Andrew Crowe (J/595.7/CROW/NZ)
In New Zealand about 10,000 insects have so far been named, 90% of them native. Scientists estimate the true number to be twice that.

I learned that cockroaches were common over 300 million years ago.  New Zealand has three native ones and three imports that live on food scraps and sewage!  I can see why people think they are a 'dirty' insect - because they spread disease.

A great reference book for adults and children.

8. Longbourn - Jo Baker
Really enjoyed this spin-off from Pride and Prejudice.  It's the P&P story with the servants lives as the central characters who serve the Bennett's and it'snot all the day to day drudgery you might imagine.  Their lives are rich with love and war, awakenings, secrets and the same challenges we experience in our modern world.

7. Creative Image Transfer - Lesley Riley (745.5/RILE)
An entire book of new mixed media projects using TAP )Transfer Artist Paper)

6. Small Bites - Jennifer Joyce (641.812/JOY)
Tapas, Sushi, Mezze, Antipasti and other finger food. Comprehensive across fried, meat, veges, wrapped, tied, rolled and sweets.  Menu themes (with food and a cocktail drink) Latin Fiesta, Pacific Feast, Bollywood Nights, Middle Eastern Delights.

... Actually going to add this to my purchasing list and host some parties in 2016 - Let's plan some dates!

5. Screen Printing at Home - Karen Lewis
Great photo's showing you how to make a screen using screen filler and drawing fluid.  Artist uses clean simple shapes to wonderful effect.  Good pattern and clear instructions for a bucket bag; and fabric desk tidies.

4. A Passion for Colour - Ruth Issett (746/ISSE)
Explores colour through paper, print, fabric, thread and stitch.  textural fabrics, layers, cutting back and adding stitching, using contrast to create vibrancy.  This artist is from Shropshire UK.  Book also has some quiet cream/beige palettes.

3. Quilting Art -  Spike Gillespie
A compilation of the work of twenty contemporary quilters, their journey, story and artworks.

I liked:  Lisa Call, Jeanne Williamson (construction fencing quilts), Sarah Williamson (stirred my memory of Aboriginal circles, that I haven't done anything with); karen Kamenetzky (cells in strings); Joan Dreyer (unusual materials eg dental x-rays and death notices together in quilts about dead US soliders).

2. Dark Moon of Avalon - Anna Elliott
This book in the trilogy sets itself in the political intrigue of the sixth century that shapes Brittan and the lives of generations of women to come.

In this time of change, the Christian Church was beginning to restrict and limit female freedom.  However, women of nobility had "significant rights around property, divorce, protection from rape and the raising of children.  Powerful Goddesses, warrior queens and female druids served as diplomatic envoys in negotiations between rival kings".

Isolde as a healer and a queen assumes this role of diplomatic envoy in the struggle to retain Brittan's freedom.  Her relationship with Trystan grows over the course of the story as they face their demons and fears and in particular their shared experience and fear of Lord Marche - Trystan's brutal father who is fired sexually by inflicting pain to conceal and hide his own weakness from others.

Forever being pulled apart by politics and swinging back together for healing, the pair, are a lover's pendulum seeking a harmonious rhythm with each other.

1. Lady of the Butterflies - Fiona Mountain
I really like this story as I am fascinated by butterflies.  The story is based on facts and covers the entomology of butterflies and is the story of how they were collected by many people and catalogued by James Pettifer and later purchased by Hans Sloane for the British Museum (later being moved to the Natural History Museum).

The fictional story is about Eleanor Glanville and her life, set against the struggles she faces between a Puritan upbringing and religious beliefs of the time. Many years after her death she was acknowledged as a scientific pioneer in the world of butterflies. 

Set in the 15th centrury, the story addresses some of the issues for women; their possession of and entitlement to property; marriage/work expectations. In Eleano'rs case her joy of butterflies and discovering the secrets of their "coffins" was challenged by expectations that she stay at home and brew beer, which is what housewives did.

Since the time of the Greek, the world believed butterflies to be the sols of the dead. Eleanor's work contributed to changing this belief to our current world belief. During her time the marshes of the West Country in England were being drained to create more arable land and Eleanor came to notice the reduction in the butterfly populations.  Today the UK Government have acknowledged the importance of butterflies in the eco-system ad their role in indicating climate changes.

This story has kindled by existing interest, towards more research and ideas for another fabric book.

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