swap round-up {part 1}

Since the end of last year, I’ve joined in quite a few craft/sewing swap adventures and have managed to complete all but two. My last two swaps are all shipping at the moment, but because of the mountain of stress I had finishing off the last of my first-semester uni assessments, I fell a bit behind… eek!

I’m sending out a huge virtual apology to my two lovely swap partners because they’ll have to wait at least until the end of this week before I ship out their packages. Sorry girls! Here I’m borrowing from the lovely Cosima from Orphan Black.


kind of my personal motto – source

In between stitches though, I thought I’d post some round-up posts of my swapping fun…

First up? The For the Love of Jane Swap! Hosted by Molly McMahon Martin aka Rose & Odin. It was a general craft swap and my partner was Erin aka @ermire and here is a peek at what I sent to her. I had a lot of fun looking for Janenite inspired goodies, like toffee, tea, girly stationery and pretty threads.


Next came… the Rainbow Mini Swap hosted by the lovely Kate Basti and my awesome swap mama Terri aka @crookedwhimsy! This was a fabulous swap experience as I just loooooooove bright, modern fabric and low volume contrasts. And I really had fun learning how to piece these little wonky propeller blocks on the machine. Looking for fun, bright goodies to go with this mini was also fun and I really hope my partner, Chelle aka @chellempcs loved them all as much as I did!



bookfession {no. 1}

“I always buy another book, when I still have ten to read…”

It’s been such a long time since I posted about reading and books, that I thought I should catch everyone up on the print I’ve been diving into lately. I was lucky enough to have Santa bring me a lovely slew of titles over Christmas and I just happened to grab a few more myself, just in case. Then there are the books that friends have lent me as recommendations. If you didn’t already guess, the pile is pretty big now and because I’m back at Uni again, it will be super slow going. So without further ado, here is my current reading list:


cover images via Booktopia


1. The Dovekeepers, by Alice Hoffman
I picked up this Alice Hoffman treasure while I was on holiday down in Phillip Island this January. I’ve read and enjoyed one of Alice’s other novels… her 1996 novel Practical Magic, which was adapted for a 1998 film of the same name, so I was excited to see this one on the shelf. I’ll admit that I’m sometimes guilty of judging a book by its cover, I really can’t help it. I’m drawn to interesting fonts and beautiful imagery and this particular cover drew me in. With the dreamy photograph of a woman in white, her long waves of hair and the doves I was immediately enticed. The Dovekeepers tells the story of four women and their life paths leading to the Masada massacre of 70 CE.

*Excited to add that the US broadcaster CBS has produced a mini-series of this book. Check out the teaser trailer here!

2. The Maze Runner – book #1, by James Dashner
Unfortunately for The Maze Runner, I got two-thirds of the way through it when the movie came out. I have to say {and I apologise to those like my son Noah who are big James Dashner fans} I didn’t really enjoy it and now I’m struggling to find the inspiration to go back to the book and finish it off. The book, so far, is definitely better than the movie and because of that I’ve left it on my current reading list. I don’t like to give up on books, but it won’t be the one I reach for next.

3. Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks
Year of Wonders was a recommendation from a friend and from her review and the synopsis I read online, I thought it sounded really interesting. Just like The Maze Runner, I managed to plow about two-thirds of the way through and found it really, really dry. It is set in the 17th century, in a small town 100 miles outside of London, called Eyam (pronounced ee-am). The heroine is young widow, Anna Frith and Year of Wonders tells the story of how she and her fellow villagers fared during a year long outbreak of plague. When I started this bookfession, I had just about given up on finishing it, but am now pleased to say that I did get there in the end and I actually enjoyed the almost universally, unpopular ending… my review is here on Goodreads.

4. Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell
This was my recent train-reading fodder with it’s very light-hearted, amazingly dialogued style. I find I can fully relate to the nerdy heroine Cath who has a slight crush on the two leading characters in her favourite fantasy novels {sort of Harry Potter style books*} as well as on a cute classmate. I like that the story is super easy to read and I don’t have to think too hard or concentrate too much on any over-stuffed verbiage. Very handy as Bendigo is a bit of a hike from home and a girl gets a little sleepy on her way to uni sometimes! Fangirl is a lovely read which is very relatable, enjoyable and fun. I highly recommend it… and in true fangirl fashion, have pinned some lovely quotes and things for your enjoyment up on my Pinterest board “geek“.

*Very excited to add that as it turns out, Ms Rowell is going to actually write these Simon Snow and Tyrannus Basildon Pitch {aka Simon and Baz} books as a stand alone series!!!

5. Pippi Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren
I’m currently reading Pippi to my six-year-old daughter on and off as a bedtime story. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Pippi. While I love the illustrations in this version of the book, by the fabulous Lauren Child {of Charlie and Lola fame} and I applaud the oddball, strong female character, there are a lot of strange themes in this story that I just can’t wrap my head around. I love that Pippi’s friends include some neighbourhood children {one with the same name as my SIL who was named for the character}, a monkey and a horse, but I don’t like her sometimes blatant disregard for safe and respectful behaviour… maybe I’m just too north of ten to appreciate her, or maybe I’m not quite Swedish enough to understand the humour?

6. The Bees, by Laline Paull
I recently devoured this book that was given to me by a fellow bookworm and friend. I really loved it… here is my review from Goodreads:

“An amazing glimpse into a rich, fantasy world where the characters are all bees. A society where everything is strictly controlled by the powerful… every member of the hive has a place and is expected to behave accordingly. All but one bee, Flora 717 who becomes our heroine because she is different. An underdog, a bit of a rebel and most definitely a survivor.”

I also loved the Goodreads synopsis, “The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Hunger Games”.

And here are just a few more titles that are patiently waiting for my attention:

  • Time and Time Again, Ben Elton
  • This Shattered World, Amie Kaufman
  • A Trail of Fire, Diana Gabaldon
  • The Warlock, Michael Scott
  • The Bane Chronicles, Cassandra Clare
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan
  • Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell
  • Life in a Jar, Jack Mayer



writing, still an important skill?!

While I won’t say that my grammar is beyond reproach, I will say that I try. I’m a self-confessed bookworm and, as a result, know first-hand how important it is that people write well. It’s not simply a matter of having a great story or topic, of having well-rounded characters or a great plot… you must be able to tell that story in a readable way. It needs to flow well and be free of error. Having the skills to deliver your thoughts, ideas or even your personal profile in a resume in a coherent and readable way is very important. It’s a skill that we use every day, whether we are five years old or fifty. We write stories, we write in journals, we write essays, poems, emails and text messages. In short, we rely on our writing a lot, no matter our age or profession and it’s interesting to see how the development of this seemingly simple skill can have such a big impact on our futures or even our pockets!

A little while ago, I was sent a great infographic from the team over at Grammarly, which showed the correlation between a person’s writing skills and the impact of those skills on their career. You’ll need to click on the image to open up the full infographic, but it’s really no surprise to see that writing well pays off {pardon the pun}!


source – Grammarly

I think we all prefer to read things that are well-written. Text that is badly phrased, clunky or misspelled is often harder to read and not nearly as enjoyable. You can imagine that this kind of text might also make a bad impression on future employers or colleagues. Writing as a form of communication is really a cornerstone of any career. The more effectively you can communicate, the better off you will be.

From a teaching point of view, this is also one of the reasons I’m so passionate about really good children’s literature, and encouraging young people to keep trying different books until they find the ones that appeal to them. Just as different topics appeal to different people, so to do different writing styles and mediums. My middle son, Gabriel prefers stories that are action packed and loves books with cartoon-style illustrations included by teams like Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, whereas my elder son Noah has always been drawn to fantasy/fiction novels with no illustrations. They’ve both found their niche and hopefully this impacts on the way they write as well. When you learn to appreciate and understand what makes writing, good writing, then I think you’re halfway there!

dinna fash lassie’s, it’s an Outlander swap!

Thanks for stopping by! This is a general craft swap for those of us who are either a fan of Diana Gabaldon’s fabulous books or the more recent TV series… or both! The swap is being organised by myself (alittlereddress) and Hannah (quirkyhannah).

As this is a general crafty theme, you can make whatever you like tailored to your partner’s desires and it can be one big thing or a number of things. All we ask is that you check out your partner’s feed and create something special. You can include extra items (handmade or purchased), but these are left to your discretion.

Now for the the important bit:

Sign Ups Close: 13th February 2015.

Partner Allocation: Will be sent out by 20 February 2015.

Deadline to Send: 01 May 2015 for International 14 May 2015 for Domestic.

Now for some pesky rules…..

  1. This is a blind swap – you will create something for your partner in secret and not reveal your identity until your package is received. You will not know who is creating for you.
  2. This swap is open internationally so there is a possibility you may have a partner in another country. If we get enough interest we will try and match where possible to keep postage costs low.
  3. The shipping deadline is 14 May 2015 for Domestic and 01 May 2015 for International. You may ship a little earlier but please do your best to ship on time! If you are unable to do so or need to pull out of the swap for any reason please let Hannah or myself know as soon as possible. It is not much fun to be on the receiving end where nothing turns up.
  4. This swap is open to all abilities and all crafters.
  5. You must have an active and public Instagram account to participate. This makes it easier for your partner to find out info about you and your tastes so that they can create items with you in mind. Posts from private accounts will not show up in the hashtag feed. I apologise to those who are unwilling or unable to be public but this makes it easier and fairer on all.
  6. You need to complete the online questionnaire available here. Please be as helpful as you can in your answers but also bear in mind your partner might not be able to cater to all your requests.
  7. Please post teaser photos on Instagram using the hashtag #outlandercraftswap so we can all see your progress and wonder who the lucky recipient will be!
  8. When you have sent your parcel please post on Instagram tagging either alittlereddress and/or quirkyhannah or email us.
  9. When you have received your parcel please post it and a thank you on Instagram tagging us and your partner.

Sign Ups are Now Closed!

Any questions? Comment below. We’re both really looking forward to this and seeing what you all create!

xoxo Kylie

purr… an open letter to T2


Dear T2,

Just writing to say I had a lovely time in your Highpoint store this afternoon. I picked up a “Purr Mug“. Unfortunately when I took it out of the bag to unwrap it from the swathes of protective tissue paper you had wrapped it in, the cup was upside down and the lid (the reason I purchased it in the first place) fell from my grasp and smashed all over my kitchen floor. Is there any chance I can get a new lid?

Kylie xoxo


Edit: later that week… a large black box, filled to the brim with further swathes of orange tissue paper arrived on my doorstop and inside? one new mug, complete with lid! Thank you T2. You are the bomb!