Monday, March 19, 2012


Patchwork Kuba skirt. The Elements of Design by Loan Oei and Cecile De Kegel

"You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend". - Paul Sweeney

.... and that's how I felt when I came to the end of Poem Crazy by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge. She writes about collecting words wherever she goes and then later fashioning them into poems. It all sounds so easy and I found myself writing poems without worrying about how to begin or whether I was hopeless or not. For the first time writing poetry felt as easy as breathing. Susan also shares touching stories about teaching children (and adults) to write poetry and how she draws students out of themselves with word play.

I've been meaning to share some of the new books I've acquired since before Christmas. Poem Crazy is definitely top of my list!

Poem Crazy by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge

Leslie recommended The Elements of Design and it arrived on Friday.

Oh what a delicious book! Brimming with colours, textures, forms and shapes.

Whenever I'm asked to name my favourite books I always recommend, The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women. I decided to get The 12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women as well and though I enjoyed it the first one is still my favourite.

Africanismo : Interior Inspiration from Southern Africa, has been on my wishlist for a while and at last I have it. A great book to flip through.

A page from, Meeting the Makers: Contemporary Craft of KwaZulu Natal

Page above from, Nomad by Sibella Court. Though I enjoyed this book , I LOVED Sibella's Etcetera more .

One: Living as One and Loving it by Victoria Alexander

This book appealed to me from the moment I saw the little envelopes within the book for cards and secrets ..... and then I thought, wait this book is for singles , but reading the blurb at the back I discovered that....

"It's not just for those who live alone. I acknowledge every one has a need for space, to keep a little of themselves for themselves. we all need to have our own sense of self worth. I hope it will encourage you in your acceptance of who you are, who you can be. It's the kind of book where you may find a connection to travel, photography, architecture, people or memories." Victoria Alexander

I've just started reading it ...... so far so good.

A page from One (above )

I was going to have a Lucky Draw for my 300th post. Sheepishly ... I have reached my 308th post, but better late than never. If you would like a chance to win some African fabric (shwe-shwe included), please leave a comment at the end of this post. I thought I would give one or two remnants big enough to make a few cushions or a sling bag as well as a few other remnants for patchwork or collage etc. Winner to be announced on Tuesday 27th March.

And the winner is ..... Deborah Jaouen (Collage Whirl)


  1. Lovely post! Books and fabric, my favorite combination. The brown would be my favorite.

  2. I am newcomer to your blog. When you posted goats on bicycles I was hooked! I spent some time in Tanzania a few years ago and carried home a suitcase full of fabric. So much beauty it was hard to chose... I really like the peacock feathers-looking one! Carry on and thanks also for the book recommendations! xo

  3. Robyn - I read PoemCrazy and had the same reaction - just fearless now in jotting down words - poems, stories. I'll confess I've read it twice. Brilliant book!

    Sweet giveaway - but I'm going to pass - gorgeous fabric - but it wouldn't be something I would know how to use.

    Let me know about Elements of Design - it's on my wish list . . .

  4. gorgeous textiles
    thanks for sharing
    so beautifully

  5. They are all beautiful and it would be hard to decide, but i guess I would pick the blue. I appreciate your book "reviews". Probably because most of the ones you like, I like too!

  6. Congratulations on your 308th post! Wow! What a treasure.
    I love it when we share books to read! I have not gotten further in Poem Crazy, but its close by. No doubt I will be listing words right along with you soon! And the Elements of goes from beside my chair, to the bedside table, to work where I can look at it at lunch, back to the table....
    My newest book is Midnight Lantern: New and Collected Poems by Tess Gallagher. She is a local woman (I remember her being slightly ahead of me in high school) and was married to the love of her life, Raymond Carver who was a short story writer.
    This is too much to long for a comment! (I really could have a book and poetry blog...and so could you!)
    I was looking for Seth's book when I found Midnight Lantern. His book isn't in our local book stores yet!
    These textiles are lovely! Any would please me a lot. Thank you Robyn.

  7. mais tu es une des femmes artistes.. du succès!!

  8. Hi Robyn, I love the green fabric but the brown is lovely too. Poemcrazy sounds interesting-- it really has some rave reviews! Thanks for sharing some great titles and congrats on your 300th+ post :-)

  9. Congratulations on your 308th post and many more!
    Love the book choices and have added your favorites to my list for the next time I'm spending the afternoon at my bookstore.
    I'm partial to the brown & white fabric no, I love all the fabrics!

  10. wonderful 308th post!
    I have read Poemcrazy many times
    as well as Foolsgold
    I agree with you
    about Nomad and Etc. ...
    I am reading
    Wabi-Sabi by Leonard Koren now
    I have read it several times
    and it always speaks to me
    books are truly good friends...

    love all of the fabric
    esp. the black and white...

    you are a dear,
    xox - eb.

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  12. Poem Crazy is terrific, i jumped for joy when i received it as a gift, and thrilled to see that you love it too.

    Green is my favorite - although they are all beautiful.
    (often, when i read your posts, it think how fortunate you are to live in an area that abounds in such beauty, then i look around me, and i realize IT (beauty) is everywhere.)

  13. I love that poetry idea Robyn - I am going over to Amazon to see if I can get the book from there.

  14. Congratulations on your 308th post. I so enjoy your blog.

    The fabrics are simply scrumptious! I would choose the gold and use it as a base fabric for a quilt creation of some sort I think.

    I'm also adding the Victoria Alexander book to my sounds like it's right up my alley.


  15. 308 posts! Wow, good for you Robyn! Each one has been brilliant! Thank you for all the hard work it takes you. I love the blue fabric.

  16. robyn, what a delightful mixture of goodies. I always find something to think about when I look at your blog! thank you!

  17. love the books, love the art, love the fabric! my favourite? the blue "peacock tail" fabric! just delicious, all of them!

  18. I wondered if you would have Sibella's latest book Nomad, I purchased it late last year and love it, it has slightly more colour than etcetera. I also have One living as one and loving it. The images, layoout and page edges won me before I even realised what it was about. I still had to have it anyway, even though I don't live alone, we all live alone at times in our life, even if it's only for a few days or hours.

  19. I have the book Poem Crazy. I will have to get it out and reread it. So much inspiration here. I love those fabrics.

  20. I like Poem Crazy, too... even had one I wrote published.
    Brown is my favorite fabric.

  21. Hoping you'll share some of your poetry with us.
    I'm going to go looking for the poetry book, thanks!
    I have the "12 Secrets" book, but haven't finished it yet.
    Congrats on 308 posts,,,that's big!

    The fabrics are all gorgeous, and I'd not be able to choose.

  22. some good ideas here, robyn. the top left fabric is full of enthusiasm and zest for life!!

  23. Love all the fabric and your blog. I'm partial to the brown.

  24. Oh Robyn I dont care what colour just a tiny bit would be magic. I am going back to an Afican phase with the latest embroidery book I bought and would love a snippet.
    I think you find such fascinating books, too broke to afford much at the moment but I was interested in the One living as one and loving it, wonder if it would inspire my newly widoed friend.She is going to have a tough time I think.

  25. Robyn me dear i don't need to win anything but
    i just wanted to say that once again
    it has been a delight to swing by your pages

  26. I'm always happy to see new books! These all look wonderful too. 308 posts? Phew and all of them fab! The fabrics look beautiful - any one of them would be perfect!

  27. What scrumptious fabrics Robyn!!!! I am usually a green person....but I love that blue! (they are all very special).
    Definately going to look for the book Poem Crazy. I love that you have abandoned your inner critic and just written your words, your poems and stories. Sounds very liberating.
    I have a few of these books too (I am a book-a-holic.
    Great post...congrats on over 300 posts. Lucky us!

    Jacky xox

  28. Thanks for sharing Poem Crazy Robyn - I am constantly trying to find the courage and the way to use more of my words in my work - so this might just help me find a way! I think I like the green fabric - very peacocky!

  29. R-I cannot imagine a world without books. Though I read a lot of electronic stuff; and have books on the pad - I still like piles of books beside the bed so I can dip into and out of them. Go well. B

  30. I have to explore these books now -- hopefully I can find some in the U.S. I do have Nomad and and waiting until Amazon restocks etcetera.

    Those fabrics are all STUNNING. They may my fingertips tinge. I have to say the brown is my favorite, though.

  31. maybe there should be a bookclub on the wires. some lovely books and for a retired librarian what joy to see books featured. it poem crazy reminds me of something from chekhov. in the seagull, there is a character that walks around with a notebook, jotting down phrases and words he overhears calling them, subject for a short story. he never actually writes those stories but keeps jotting down the phrases. it's a mindful vision, taking stock of the hours of the day with words. words like color and cloth all flow no matter what shade they come in. thank you for a wonderful post.

  32. Robyn, these books look and sound so wonderful. I think "One" is the book for me as I have lived alone since I was 20, give or take a few years with boyfriends, but basically alone and I do indeed love it. I get angry when people assume I am lonely, far from it!
    So that book is going on my list.
    Thank you for sharing.

  33. My favourite is the black, gray, and white one. For the past week I have been driving myself almost crazy trying to dye a true gray. For me it only seems to happen by accident.
    The Elements of Design has long been on my bookshelf.
    Joanne in Canada

  34. Thanks for the book suggestions - some I have heard of before and are on order at the library! I love the gold fabric and the challenge would be what to make with it to show it off!

  35. congrats... and great book choices. I liked etcetera better as well and one sounds lovely... I will check it out thanks so much.. x

  36. that first photo of the kuba skirt is amazing.

  37. Intriguing books, I can lose myself entirely in them and forget the time ;-)

  38. OOh, what books, what books!!! I shall have to add several of those to my wish list.

    As to the fabrics.......BROWN. Love the design.

  39. A wonderful collection of books to ponder! Difficult choice of a favorite, but I'll have to go with the green...

  40. oh my, that sliver of red, white and blue above "Africanismo" is enticing.

    I'm happy with any fabric.

  41. I love getting book recommendations and reading about what others like. I've only read Foolsgold by Susan Woolridge, but really liked it too and would recommend it.

    Love your blog. Would pick brown or green. Thanks!

  42. Shoot! I totally missed this blog entry and my chance to win that awesome material.
    I enjoy your blog, and am still in the process of backtracking and reading older posts.

    My View From 1502

  43. Scrumptous alright - a tantilsing delightful post Robyn. I love the quote pictured "put your ear close to your soul and listen hard" - Anne Sexton I must get this book!!! Oh and how I love fabric!!!! I'm on excitment overload - fabric designs are inspiration for my porcelain etchings...the gold or Brown fabrics are my reference :-D

  44. New books and I just wanted to order them now..Thank you for always sharing..I have not been blogging for a while but I always try to come and visit you..Thank you..The fabric is all beautiful.
    Drop by and see me sometimes.

  45. Two of those books are on lky wish list - and I was lucky enough to share rooms with Susan Woolridge at Artfest 2008, and she is a quietly amazing person.. So happpy her work has taken off.

    Sibella Court's shop is in Sydney and a place to lose your life savings...

  46. Love the books and the fabrics. My favourite fabric is the Gold.

    Africanismo, Meeting the Makers and Elements of Design are definitely on my wishlist!

  47. Congratulations on your 308th post. They have all been a fabulous education.
    I have The Elements of Design it is a favorite. I like hearing about books that are favorites.
    I love all of the fabric choices...but somehow the brown is particularly appealing.

  48. Hi Robyn, I always consider myself lucky when I find my way to your blog. Poem Crazy sounds great...word play is so important. The fabric is terrific. Love seeing the colors in the gold, but the pattern in the seal brown is compelling to my eye. All treasures.

  49. Thanks for the great book selections. I have added several to my wish list. I love all of the fabrics but would pick the gold as my favorite. Diane from South Dakota

  50. These are all wonderful books.. I have already put 2 in my list... poemcrazy appeals to me because I get so envious of all the poetic comments left at my blog.. and I agree about Sibella Court.. like her NOMAD book but loved ETC.

  51. It's easy to see what inspires you Robyn. Great collection. I MUST acquire Poem Crazy.

  52. Ahhhh Robyn, you make me want to buy all of these books! I have poem crazy and etcetera, but the others are calling to me too..hank you for this introduction!
    Have you gotten your 'Pulse' book yet?

  53. The thread running through this log is about collecting and creating. I like that.

  54. l so agree with cheer up my day every time l view your pagexxlynda

  55. oh, i am definitely going to have to add some of those to my 'must get' list... thank you for sharing these reads...

  56. Wow, you are such a font of information. And I so love your Pinterest finds. I've loved PoemCrazy for fresh and full of life. Thanks for all you are doing for art!!!

  57. exciting post...yes to the rocks as page holders! and the blurb on 'living alone'...sounds like a good read for all.