This weekend I had the pleasure of attending a writers course with Judith Rossell. It was held at the magnificent Abbottsford Convent in Abbottsford near Collingwood, Melbourne. The venue was so peaceful and inspirational. We had a class of sixteen people of all stages of our writing journey. Judith or Jude as she calls herself was a fabulous tutor and teacher. She was positive, encouraging, kind and very unassuming for someone who is so successful as an author and illustrator. I enjoyed it immensely and learned a lot indeed.
Look what I found on Pinrest. What a great idea for a sand pit for little ones. Sun smart. Pet safe and contained. Some people just have great ideas, don’t they?
Today I had the pleasure of attending a Jeanie Baker presentation. Wow, wow. What a talented, humble amazing lady. With over 14 illustrated children’s books to her list her work goes from strength to strength. Her latest masterpiece is entitled, Circle. It follows the migratory pattern of the Godwit. A very small, endangered bird that by some miracle flies from the Arctic right across the Pacific Ocean to the other side of the world to either Australia and New Zealand.
Jeanie uses a myriad of materials to create collages as the illustrations for her deeply meaningful stories. The art works themselves stand alone as masterpieces and have been displayed all over the world. The original art work was on display in Melbourne and I feel very privileged to have witnessed them. I took photos but they don’t do justice to the experience.
All last year I have been working on a recipe book alongside my youngest daughter, Donna.
This book is intended to raise money for a group of very ill children in Nepal who are suffering with a genetic condition called Thalassaemia.
People in Australia with this condition can live with blood transfusions and iron chelation therapy to a relatively normal life span. However, in Nepal the life span is in their teens as the treatment is either non-existent or inadequate. I have been fundraising for these children for many years and a recipe book is what I decided to do this year to raise money.
So, what we did was pestered every one we know to submit a recipe and a short story about the recipe and what it means to them. Some of the entries came in quickly and some took some extra pestering. But soon enough we had enough to fill the book. Donna did an amazing job of organizing the pictures and recipes into a format that could be printed in China. This was hours and hours of work for her including research and purchasing a professional editing program. She did an outstanding job.
The book was a hit at the fundraiser/ launch we had on the 4th march. We had about 200 people there and raised about $2400 on the day.
Thank you to everyone who helped and attended on the day and contributed recipes.
Thank you also to the wonderful people at Narre Hills Family Church for their ongoing love and support every time I come up with a crazy idea.
Today we had our second mini launch with the children at Mossgiel Park Primary school. The ten contracted books in the series are now complete. We had two of the subjects come along, the Hairdresser and the Children’s Librarian had a chat with the students and the next five books in the series were presented to the school. The local paper arrived and resulted in an article in the paper a few weeks later.
My dad came to me today to show me something he had found in a draw at his house. He told me that he opened an ‘empty’ draw in a bedroom that he had opened many times before. As the draw jerked opened, three, small paintings, that he had never seen before, plonked down flat into the draw. All of Mum’s signature native flowers and birds. Two of the paintings were complete but one of them had only a grey lead out line visible of the intended bird in among clematis vines, making the third painting incomplete. Obviously, they were standing upright and out of view for the 15 years since my darling mother’s passing. Dad and I were amazed and overwhelmed by yet another treasure left behind by Mum. Judging by the date on them this had to be the last paintings mum ever did. This inspired me to write this poem. I had the two complete paintings, the incomplete painting and the poem that I wrote framed together and gave them back to dad. It now holds pride of place in his home.
Treasures left behind.
By Julie Dascoli.
I looked inside a box today,
A box, inside a drawer.
I found a treasure stashed away,
So many years before.
Three small paintings I discovered,
Painted by my Mother.
Each stroke of brush applied with love,
Her talent like no other.
One with small birds, blue and quaint,
And toadstools twos and threes.
One with budgies plumed with colour,
Perched high in gum trees.
The third one has Clematis flower,
Entwining round and round.
The bird that was supposed to be,
Is nowhere to be found.
You see the angels took my mum,
This bird she could not start.
So this painting has a void,
And so too does my heart.
The next set of five of my ‘My Rob Rules,’ is here. They also look great.
We will present them to the seniors at Mossgiel Park Primary School again as this completes the cycle for them.
I have many more ideas for titles in this series but I will just have to wait and see.
This issue of the newsletter for the Thalassaemia& sickle Cell Society of Australia has been realised today. The article I wrote highlighting the plight of the Thalassaemic children in Nepal is in this issue.
I have been fundraising for these children for about 6 years and continue to do so. If anyone wants to get involved, feel free to contact me on 0409828770.
I found this little cutie on Facebook today. Come on Nanas and Grandmas, Nonnas and Yiayias. Get your crochet hooks out. There is an Elsa out there waiting for this.
We had a great mini book launch today at Mossgiel Park Primary School for the first five of the ‘My Job rules’ series. I wanted to have a little celebration with the school to thank them for their participation. We had the Web Designer and the Equine Services Provider came and were treated like rock stars. Hawker and Brownlow sent one of their representatives, Sandy who presented a set of books to the school captains.