My signature

It’s no secret that I love to create and place a high priority on carving out creative time in my schedule.

My sewing machine is often used to create colourful quilts. While I enjoy the process of making them, the process of giving them to the recipient is actually more fun:

I made a quilt for my niece, using lots of different cat fabrics. This was so she could have cats on her bed even in the university hostel!

The first quilt that was entirely of my own design was a play-quilt (again featuring cats), made for my great-niece. Seeing her move the cats around their various homes on the quilt was such a thrill.

I have also enjoyed making albums for non-scrapbooking friends to easily show off their baby photographs (this one is based on a template shared by Angie Lucas in the Nove/Dec 2007 issue of Simple Scrapbooks):

As well as making gifts, my enthusiasm for hand-made items has led to work with children to create colourful art and crafts. There is something almost magical in children’s enthusiasm for learning and enjoyment in their finished product:

After a holiday craft session at the library, the children happily posed with their decorative kites – look at the wide smiles (but mine was probably wider!).

Through this reflection I have learned that I am happy to have ‘handmade’ as a signature trait. I have also learned that I am grateful for the photo organisation system DH has imposed on the photo files in the computer – I can find what I am looking for!

My last big adventure

For the month of September I’m doing an on-line course with called Learn Something New Every Day. There’s a prompt for each day and I thought it would be a good motivator to post more regularly on this blog if I wrote some of my responses here.

The question for 1 September arrived in my inbox this morning (because of the time difference between the UK – where Shimelle lives – and here). It was: What was your last big adventure?

Adventures? I don’t really have them! I’m not physically brave, and have limited energy and stamina, so the tramping, cycling and kayaking adventures that Richard has aren’t really for me.

However there are adventures of other kinds, and I decided that ‘adventuring’ from the safety of my known job at Wairarapa REAP to the unknowns of the Greytown Library was probably the ‘biggest’ adventure I’ve had recently. Ahem, that was over two years ago!

The Greytown Library is in this lovely old building – originally the community’s Town Hall. I took this photo just after I’d posted off my application for the job, back in July 2010.

The lesson I take from this is that I should adventure out of my comfort zone a lot more often than every two years!


Why I love my job

I work as a library assistant at the Greytown Library. We are lucky to be housed in the Town Centre, a recently-renovated heritage building where there is lots of light, an excellent heating system and a desk where library staff can serve the public while seated (a rarity in libraries).

One of the best aspects of the job is the discussions with customers about books. One of the reasons I thought the job would suit me was because it involves lots of people contact and lots of books. And the job does suit me very well. I had no preconceptions about other readers and how many of them would like to discuss the books they read and/or the books they wanted to read. In all my experience as a library customer – in the nine or ten different public libraries where I was “a regular” at various times – I had never been approached by a librarian with an offer of help, while I was browsing the shelves. However now that I am on the staff side of the equation, offering that help has led me to some of the most enjoyable conversations I have ever had.

Take today as an example. A young woman, in her early years at high school, asked me if I could recommend any books. Together we scanned the shelves of our Young Adult collection and I talked with her about the titles I had read, as she shared the ones she had read. The customer was currently working her way through Robert Muchamore’s Cherub series, after her brother recommended them to her. She had also read other series that I had not, and thought I might like the Pretty Little Liars books. We had both read the Twilight, and Tomorrow When the War Began series. I was happy to send her away with Garth Nix’s The Old Kingdom trilogy, the four Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants books by Ann Brashares, and the first of Kathy Reich’s YA books, Virals. We talked about dystopian novels and the enjoyment we had both had from The Hunger Games; we talked about the experiences to be garnered from reading – far more than we could ever fit into a lifetime; and we talked about the joy of reading a book that ‘sucks you in’ from the very first pages and how reading creates ‘a happy place’ for us to enjoy. It was a wonderful conversation and the highlight of my day.