Sunday, March 25, 2012


This blog was designed to feature things which bring joy and beauty to my life;

It has taken me a while to figure out how to talk about something which is going on, and which is at first glance, anything but a source of joy, fun and happiness.

About eight weeks ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer in the left breast.
My first response was denial (not uncommon, cancer always happens to other people).

I met up with two lovely ladies from the Kim Walters Choices program,
who gave me information, reading material, a special cushion, and a fabric bag to hold drains.  Drains??  What is that all about??

My first choice was to have a wide excision day surgery, followed by radiation.
The wide excision had cancer in the margins.

I was spoilt by so many nice people, who sent prayers, flowers, cards, emails, and rang to check on me. 
 I did find joy and happy times in all this.

I returned 12 days later for further surgery, a wider excision and removal of a lymph node.  This time I was 24 hours in hospital.

While I recovered I made up this Liberty fabric, purchased in London 3 years ago.
At last the time seemed right for a pink floral loose shirt.

Today I saw my surgeon again, and to his surprise there was far more cancer in the second excision than he or his colleagues had anticipated.
It is DCIS, but very widespread.
Once again, I had to face Choices:
Go with radiation, but chances are much higher that it will escalate further in the next year.

Or have the entire breast removed.

That is what I chose.

My mastectomy will be this Friday afternoon.
The silver lining is that there is quite a good chance that I will not need to have radiation therapy, which I had dreaded, nor take strong and debilitating drugs.
Fingers crossed.

My diet is now focussed on careful avoidance of the carcinogenic,
and the consumption of appropriate amounts of high antioxident foods,
like these tasty products ....

Now, back to the fun things.

Her Majesty, looking gorgeous in pale pink last week.
I hope she is enjoying her Jubilee.

And I hope you have a good week too.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


The Three Sisters by Henri Matisse
My two sisters came to visit me today. 
I feel so lucky that there are three of us, to share the ups and downs of life.  We three sisters are always there for each other, through family celebrations, crises, and  everything in between. 
We have been brides and bridesmaids together, held each other's newborns, and walked together in procession at our mother's funeral.
Sister have a very special bond.

Which is often celebrated in a way involving coffee and cake:

This French themed 100% cotton fabric is Tres Chic by Waverly,
purchased a while back from the wonderful Fabrictraders online store
(via Beach Vintage blog).

I purchased a dress length,  spent a few weeks pondering a design,
and decided on a black linen yoke with boat neckline, front and back, and plain black 3/4 sleeves.

I began by making a copy of my basic shift dress pattern, altering the neckline to a higher and wider shape.
Leftover Christmas wrapping on a long roll came in handy.

I cut out the dress front and back in Tres Chic,

then I cut off the tops of the patterns so they became yoke patterns!
I cut these out in black linen.
After a bit more contemplation, I pinned and stitched the dress shoulder seams to the outside instead of inwards:

I joined the front and back yokes at the shoulder and pressed the seams flat.

Next I pinned the yoke to the inside of the dress, sewed round the neck, and turned it to the outside, over the exposed shoulder seams, which are now neatly enclosed:

Pressed it carefully, turned under a small hem on the straight edges of the yoke, and stitched it flat through all thicknesses.

Only the zip, side seams and sleeves to go.
I think Tres Chic and I will be Very Happy together.

Isn't it Wet!!!

Take care, everyone.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Delightful Daughter-in-law and Lovely Son came for Sunday Afternoon Tea,
bringing tasty morsals from Jocelyn's Provisions.
This is getting to be a good habit!

Not to be outdone, I decided to make something from the March Women's Weekly: Chocolate Roulade with Coffee Cream.
Having never attempted a roulade in my life before!

Minor panic set in when it cracked in cooking!
However, after it cooled we threw on the coffee cream and raspberries, rolled it up, and demolished it immediately ..

As one of the Patricias of the world, I like to celebrate
St Patrick's Day.
Wore green yesterday.
So did Kate.

And a belated Happy St Pat's Day to ye all ..

Saturday, March 17, 2012


When I can't get to sleep,
I like making rainbows in my mind with the flowers in our garden:

From the outside in:
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, pink.
I know the inner one is violet according to the scientists,
but it looks pink to me.
So pink it is.

Here's a violet coloured flower for purists:

Michelle continues with the gorgeous blue gown trend,
and is joined by Britain's Samantha Cameron.
Oh, and their nation-leading husbands were there too!

Fabulous Blue Birdie Brooch on pretty white/blue shift dress.

Do you like antique white milk glass?
Me too!

Hope you weekend is a good one,
and the coming week is Great! xx


Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I hope no birds were hurt in the production of this hat, but what a Dazzler!!
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, wore it this week. 
Hasn't she come out of her shell this past year?

Did you see the Princess Charlene interview on the Today Show?
I really liked her; she is quite delicate, very pretty and speaks in a charming South African accent.
They say men often look for a wife who resembles their mother in some way,
and one can certainly see echos of the late Princess Grace in Charlene, not just in looks but in her sweetness and gentle caring ways. 
I can see why Albert was keen to keep her!

I like to read at least 2 books at a time:
Finally got around to the very popular Good Living Street: The Fortunes of my Viennese Family by Tim Bonyhady.
This is a family history of an early 20th century family living in great beauty and luxury in Vienna when it was the centre of European art and culture prior to WWII.
Their opulent apartment was designed by the legendary Art Deco/Modernist designer Josef Hoffman, and they owned portraits and paintings by Gustav Klimt.
Escaping Vienna at the onset of war, they relocated to Cremorne, Sydney, complete with much of their fabulous collection.  I am loving this beautifully illustrated book.

Here are some Hoffman designs I found to show you:

Timeless chic - he worked a lot in back and white, with silver accessories.
Remember the wonderful 2010 Valentino Exhibition at GOMA?
It included black and white gowns inspired by Hoffman.
Valentino found inspiration all around him.

My other book is a complete opposite.
The Last Explorer was Hubert Wilkins, a relatively unknown Aussie from the early 20th century.  A polar explorer, war photographer and reporter, early aviator, writer, spy and scientist - and lots more.. he was the first man to take a submarine under the polar ice.
My old Dad knew about him because Wilkins was on the battlefields in Ypres in WWI, where Dad's father, (my grandfather) was an Aussie soldier working as a medical orderley (with a donkey cart removing the wounded from the field).

Perhaps I should put the books down and do some washing ..
or sewing .. whatever....