Tuesday, November 29, 2011


The Christmas box is off to Canada,
to my daughter and her family.
It is such fun selecting lots of light-weight goodies,
packing it so there is not the tinest space left unfilled.
Can't reveal the contents - they might look at the blog.

These little ground cover gardenias are so sweet to look at
and sweetly scented.  Yet they are Really Tough, and survive anything.

Every year I grow pansies, in gardens and in pots,
and every year I try to keep them flowering until my birthday, the 29th November.
Which is today.

This is all that is left:

Bye til next year, my purple pansies.

I met my two sisters, aka The Two Bridesmaids, for lunch.
And lovely gifts and cards:

Yep, spoilt!

The summer heat continues unabated -
it's been around 34 degrees C. in our suburb this week.

I made a cool shift dress in white linen with a pale yellow rose design:
It looks nice with the RPE White Jewels necklace
and my Vintage Yellow Beads from Paddington Antiques:

My favourite Art Gallery these days is the fridge door:

Presenting works by two famous 2-year-olds,
the Red Cardinal grandsons:

(a)  Gestural, Expressionist work in bright acrylics, with a dash of blue.
(b) Collage of new mode stickers, with emphasis on noisy vehicles and farm animals.

The Matisse Show starts at GoMA this weekend -
Can't wait...


Saturday, November 26, 2011


Tree ornaments:
Bird in golden nest with glass flowers
Selfridges, London, 2004.

Here is my favourite cross-stitch. 
I did in years ago, but never get tired of it in the festive season
Of course, it evokes thoughts of
my family, scattered around the world.
Our grandson, the petite garcon, has his own small sled this year,
ready to enjoy the snow in a place which looks remarkably like the scene above.

I imagine Princess Mary is missing her 2 older children who stayed home in Denmark.

Didn't she look gorgeous at the last official function of her Aussie tour?
Perfectly elegant in a cool colour to beat the summer heat.

I'm thinking everyone in Queensland is eating something light and cool today,
in the hot weather.
But Not Us, because Person or Persons Unknown did not shut
the freezer door properly a day or two ago ....

So I have been throwing a lot of food away,
and making quite a large mixed grill with what could be saved:

Oh, well, I could cool off by staring at snowmen:

Agapanthus are such old stalwarts,
they bloom faithfully and prolifically every year,
in the Red Cardinal Garden of Neglect:

Just to keep them on their toes,
we went out today and bought some tough-as-nails
 red Vinca and Celosia:

These should spice things up!!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Have you ever noticed this sculpture, the tympanum high above the entrance of Brisbane City Hall?
It was done by a woman in 1930, Brisbane's own Daphne Mayo.
Daphne was Australia's leading sculptor of the twentieth century, and she was about 35 when she undertook this amazing commission, entitled
The progress of civilisation in the state of Queensland.
The figure in the centre is the figure of the State, arms out to protect her people.
On the right, the explorers William Dampier and Captain James Cook, then figures representing the agricultural and pastoral industries holding a scythe and a ram,
and finally a book and palette: The Arts.
On the left side are colonists, with cattle, advancing upon
retreating indigenous people and native fauna -
yes, it makes us cringe now, but in the context of the 1930s,
it reflects the ideas of that time regarding the advancement of 'civilisation'.

In 1929-30 Daphne also carved a tympanum and stations of the cross for the
Church of the Holy Spirit, New Farm,
the church where the Red Cardinals were married, just 40 years ago.
(I was, of course, a Child Bride :)

There is a wonderful exhibition at Qld Art Gallery these days,
showcasing the life and work of Daphne Mayo, with many beautiful portrait sculptures,
as well as her medals and other awards.
She was a great friend of QAG, and established a fund to give works to the gallery in the early years.

This is a great show about one of Queensland's most successful women.

While we are in the 1930s, here is my Nostalgic Christmas display:

Most of these pieces came from op-shops.
I found the teapot in England, for 50p.

I found this bright bunch of candy canes at Spotlight today. 
Onto the Tree with them.
Someone spotted - shock horror - A Gap on my Christmas Tree!!!.
All gaps will be rectified without delay ...

Now that the summer heat has arrived -
in November, too (Not Fair!!)
I fear the Annual Injection of New Sandals is long overdue.

So these little Spanish Senoritas have come to live with me.

My red cardinals are doing their bit for

Bye now..

Sunday, November 20, 2011


My tiny tiny people are singing carols in their tiny tiny village,
after building a couple of snowmen -
yes, Christmas is just around the corner, readers.

The Nativity scene is out
(camels from Dubai airport - Christmas lovers
are ever on the shopping alert).

The Tree is up and I had a lot of fun ornamenting it.
Actually it is an ongoing process,
I am considering replacing the star,
and the tinsel .... hmmm..

Maybe I can squeeze on a few more ornaments,
as the fantastic Faux Fuchsia says, More is More!!

Princess Mary is lovely, isn't she?

After being smitten by her cool white with stunning hat, yesterday,
I am totally won over again by today's bright and pretty dress:

Isn't that the most divine print? Gorgeous ..

Princess Charlene is looking much happier,
and the body language with Prince Albert is improving out of sight:

Look at them, leaning in towards each other,
he with a protective arm around,
both with gentle smiles.
Could there be an announcement on the way????

Thursday, November 17, 2011


The tree decorating is going Full Steam Ahead ...
Isn't this little Irish Angel adorable, with her shamrock wings?

Totally appropriate, Red Cardinals in the snow.
Grandmaman in Ottawa gave me this pretty ornament.

From San Antonio, Texas:  The Alamo!
Yes, it's a real place, and the remains of the old fort
from the battle in 1836 are there for all to see.

What can be more Texan than Cowboy Santa,
from Neiman Marcus, Dallas?

Or more Philadelphian than the Liberty Bell, complete with crack?

The Japanese take on things can be quirky -
funny little cloissonne snowman.

Everyone loves the exquisite blue glass baubles from the German Christmas markets.

Of course,
"We'll Always Have Paris"

Au Revoir, and
Have a Lovely Weekend.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Whenever we go a'travelling,
I try to buy a tree ornament as a souvenir.
Over the years, the collection has grown,
and each year, the Christmas tree has become a lovely reminder of
places we have visited and good times we have had.
This little wooden deer comes from the sweetest village,
 Bird-in-Hand, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
This area is well-known for its large Amish community
the the ornament was hand-crafted by an Amish wood-worker.
I love it, and look forward to bringing it out each year.

The National Gallery in London, one of the small number
of art museums world-wide, who are proud possessors of
a Sunflower painting by Van Gogh.
And they kindly sell little fabric Van Gogh Sunflower tree ornaments.
Thank you, National Gallery.

Nothing says Switzerland more than a cow-bell,
in traditional style and design.

It's been shockingly hot in Brisbane this week.
I like to think about Christmas in the Snow.

Somewhere like Quebec, staying in the Chateau overlooking the frozen
St. Lawrence seaway...

or possibly Pikes Peak, Colorado.

Finland would be nice and cool.

As would Santa Fe, New Mexico,
where I found this lovely Native American Angel
in soft white leather wings and robes.

To be continued ....
Back to the tree ornamentation..

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I'm thinking about decorating the dining room for Christmas
in a palette of silver, white and pale pink.
Have you noticed all the silvery white decorations available in the shops this year?
Fashions change in Christmas decor, as with everything.
A few things will definitely be staying under the stairs ....

Vacancy waiting for the Tree to be raised.
The other day I made a dress to wear to a birthday dinner that night:

This is a basic pattern I had made to measure for me a few years back.
The fabric is a nice stretchy jersey, so easy wear, easy care.

Kate has made her first appearance in funeral black,
at the Memorial Day service in London:

Looking picture-perfect, she always gets it right.

We know Christmas is not far away when the agapanthus
begin to bloom in the Red Cardinal garden..

The Crows Nest fern had a burst of new growth while I was
in Canada.
Well done, neglected one.

And another pink rose to finish off..