Wednesday, 9 April 2008


today's mail brings the joy of books in bulk...Weeds of New Zealand, Medicines of the Maori and an exquisite catalogue from Cecilia Heffer (UTS) entitled 'Lace' discussing her recent work in that field (mind you I'm still haunting the letterbox for Viggo Mortensen's "Skovbo"). This adds to the stack of bedside reading which also includes 'In a Unicorn's Garden' by Judyth A. McLeod kindly sent me by my very own publisher, Murdoch Books.

Leaping Puck-like between such disparate themes as the Crusades, the Herber, lists of edible plants, Hildegard von Bingen's curious recipes using Unicorn body parts and French tapestries...the book has as its common theme the delightful gardens of the middle ages and their floral residents. At first I was a little confused by the dancing and dodging between subjects and then I realised this was the perfect book for 'dipping into' and getting a wee taste of some fascinating aspect. In any event I'm now somewhat reluctant to criticise book structure, being an author myself and having an understanding of just how much effort is involved in actually creating something with hard covers that is perfect for taking to bed with a cup of tea. Which 'In a Unicorn's Garden' undoubtedly is...if I hadn't been given it, I would be out there buying it....
postscript : after reading a comment about the cover design i skipped to the 'credits' page of the book illustrated above...and found to my delight that my friend (and former felt-making student) Toyoko Sugiwaka had designed the cover...


  1. Hi India, thanks for stopping by yesterday. Re: Tivaevae, I am so there already honey. Great minds think alike although I am also talking to my Cook Island and Niuean whanau about our cultures. I am so happy I found my 'mojo'. My own little concepts and contexts so that we continue to create harmonious yet unique and authentic works. I am so glad for my new dyeing knowledge, and the book is like my own little inspiration at home. I have to present three artists next week, and you are one of them. Of course.

  2. Unicorn parts...aren't Unicorn's on the endangered species list?

  3. Reminds me of Newland Archer's monthly shipment of books! Unicorn's Garden looks gorgeous, judging by its cover.

  4. I wonder how many thousands of us have piles of books next to the bed waiting to be dipped into. Mine is getting too high and tomorrow when Kalahari delivers 3 more I will have to start a new pile. Ah,life is good!

  5. My stack of reading has flowed from the bedside table to a small coffee table in front of a sofa in my bedroom. I swear the books multiply at night while I sleep. Your choices look wonderful.

    By the way, I’m tagging you for a Six Word Memoir! Hope you play!

    1. Write your own six-word memoir.
    2. Post it on your blog (and include a visual illustration if you’d like).
    3. Link to the person who tagged you in your post.
    4. Tag five more blogs with links.
    5. Remember to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.


  6. I love the look of the book. I too live with piles, sometimes tidy, sometimes untidy of assorted books beside my bed and where I watch TV for in the ads. I love the way your blog grows and changes.

  7. Attracted by the cover, your words, and my favorite writer Hildegard von Binen I decided to check out the book, but
    unfortunately the Unicorn's Garden did not make our bookstores here yet. Ahhh, but I found McLeod's "Lavender, Sweet Lavender" on my weekly book hunting yesterday and HAD to bring it home.
    I grew up with a mother and grandmother who loved to hide lavender fields in undergarment drawers in tiny linen bags.
    Needless to say, I became a lavender junkie, and now it is my turn to collect "mountains" in my drawers.