Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I would have to be the most unsportingly inclined person you could ever imagine.
Nevertheless, in the spirit of the Olympiad, I find my own way to enjoy the Sporty Fest currently happening in good old London Town.

It melts a mother's heart to see proud Princess Anne actually having the chance to award the Silver Medal to her own daughter, Zara.  Well done Zara, with the world and half the royal families of Europe watching you!
I love that the royals came to cheer on One of Their Own.
Family support has to be key for an elite athlete.

Kate and Harry, getting in touch with the Australians.
Three cheers for all our Aussie athletes!

Naturally, I watched and enjoyed the Opening Celebration.
Loved the meadow scene at the start, and wished we could have seen it better.
Of course, seeing the athletes marching, and checking out their outfits is all part of the fun.  I quite liked the Australian dark green blazers, but my fave would have to be the Ralph Lauren uniforms of the USA. 

The pleated skirts were perfect, and I think preferable to the skimpy white skirts of the Aussies.
Dare I be so disloyal?  Well, it is only fashion. 

I think Michelle was onto it. 
She wore a pretty white pleated skirt to the pre-games Buckingham Palace Reception.

The Queen always looks stunning in blue.  Here she is at the swimming.
To me, this colour is so much better for her than the Apricot dress she wore for the Opening.  It was a beautiful dress, but seemed to make her complexion sallow, imo.

Meanwhile, amongst all this sportingness, Kate visited the Royal Academy of Arts, in another elegant and stylish, pale grey number:

Which brings me to Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado,
showing now at Queensland Art Gallery.

Reader, it is fabulous!  If you are local, don't miss it.  On until 4th November.

We are having another cold snap round here.
It has been close to zero in the mornings this week (and that is inside our house!) 
Something had to give under the stress of such coldness;
last night our 18 year old electric hot-water system died, sending a stream of water running away under our house!
Mr C turned off the taps and the power, so there were no warm showers this cold and frosty morn.  Oh my aching scar tissue!
Numerous phone calls to plumbers eventuated in one promise to bring a new system and install today.  Fingers crossed and still hoping.

Keep warm, and may your Team of Choice win a medal!


Thursday, July 26, 2012


Hi, I found this book for kids, which just happens to feature our own lorikeets and cockatoos,
along with other native Australian birds and animals.
Perfect to introduce the Petite Garcon to our place ... very soon.

On my daily walk I found another Australian icon.
The Golden Wattle - blooms in winter and smells divine.
Our Australian National Floral Emblem.

And here is the young man himself, resplendant in the second pair of PJ's I sent off to him in Canada.
Note his mother also plants pink petunias.
Like mother, Like daughter, as they say.

The sorting of the Old Family Home continues.
This rug belonged to my mother, and came up beautifully in the wash.

As is well-known, I cannot resist a bird of any kind.
Guess who was first hand up for a little ducky oil painting.
With hints of orange ...

Still trying to give up orange.
Gratuitous sighting of Belgian Royal wearing touches of OJ.

Our Browallia bush has burst into early Spring blossom.
It would be indiscreet to mention colour.

Very little sewing has been happening round here of late.  However, having found this sateen at Spotlight,
a pair of floral pants might appear one of these days.  Fingers crossed.

Little Aussie is here for a few days with his Dad,
and they getting right into the Lego,

and the teaset.

As you do.

Have a wonderful weekend.


Thursday, July 19, 2012


It could be my daily freshly squeezed carrot and orange juice ...
My love of orange seemed to be getting a bit out of hand:

Last year it was the orange dress ...

Recently there has been the orange with clocks scarf ...
closely followed by the new summer season's fetching orange sandals ..

some paper napkins ..

another item from the old family home:
Nice watercolour of birds with, you guessed it, orange faces ...

Are we worried yet?

Nope, small pink and orange box from Tree of Life,
followed closely by a new Black Bag ..


Then behold a winged messenger came from above to feast at our pink petunia plants...
Remember, you love pink best, he communicated in best Cockatoo-speak ...

And thus I went forth and found a pink-spotted, pleated skirt, for $20
at that amazing bargain shop in the city, (source of Faux Fuchsia's fabulous yellow cardi - just so you know)

And it came to pass that peace was restored, the sun came out,
and a pink rose bush burst into bloom!

and so endeth the lesson xx

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Introducing the Petite Garcon, pictured this weekend wearing the pyjamas which I recently made.
He is absorbed in his new toy kitchen, found for $15 at a second-hand shop -
my daughter is brilliant at hunting out a bargain.

In just about one month, he will be coming with his parents to visit us in Australia.  Woo Hoo!  We are very excited.
He will have his first long plane journey, right across Canada to Vancouver,
then over the Pacific to Sydney, then Brisbane.
As he loves big machines and engines of any kind, I am sure the experience will be one of great excitement to the little man...

It will be fun introducing him to some of the local wild life, like this pair of cockatoos who visited over the weekend.

A trip to the local zoo to see koalas and kangaroos will be an essential.

We have to introduce him to that great old Queensland tradition,
a must for all children,
the Koala Photo Opportunity!!

This was mine, back in the Olden Days...
Why the lack of joy, you may ask?
Well, koalas can have sharp claws and it was Hurting My Arm.
 I was Not Impressed - quite the sourpuss wasn't I?
Perhaps these days they file them off a bit??

Have a good week!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Pix-cell Double Deer No 4, 2010, Kohei Nawa.
Recently The Silver Bunny, lovely blogger from Paris, suggested I might post about contemporary art.
Taking the easy option, I thought I would show you some contemporary works, currently on show at our GoMA, and which I find interesting in various ways.

The camera does not do it justice, but the above sculpture is breathtakingly bright, glittering and sparkling.
Japanese sculptor Kohei Nawa has used two taxidermied deer,
purchased on ebay, and made a cover of transparent glass and resin beads.
Thousands of new surfaces like pixels on the computer (hence the title),
creates an effercescent effect, like bubbles, and the desire to touch.

Nawa is intrigued by the way we gather information from our surroundings by our senses, and by the new phenomenon of the internet.
With his sculpture he is playing with our perceptions - it is difficult to focus on the deer while seeing ones reflection (upside down) in every little bubble.
He is also drawn to the elk because in the Shinto belief they are considered to be divine messengers.

To me this work is a little like champagne and Santa's reindeer all mixed up together!

Lighting for Neda, 2009 - Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian
For more sparkle, you can't beat this enormous and absolutely gorgeous, six-panel mirror mosaic work by Iranian female artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian.  Each panel is 300 x 200cm, and there are over 4000 mirror shards in the complete work.
Farmanfarmaian is astonishing - she was born in 1924, and was in her 85th year when she made this beautiful mosaic!
It is essentially an abstract composition, drawing on Islamic ideas of geometry, and explores endlessly the possibilities of the hexagon.
The title is a tribute to a female student, Neda Agha Soltan, who was killed in Tehran during the protests after the presidential elections in 2009.
As far as I know, this artist is still alive and still working.
Her biggest work ever, it is a real crowd-pleaser!

Woods III, 1991-92, Shigeo Toya

You only have to look at my sidebar to see that I love the artistic possibilities of Snow.  Another Japanese artist, Shigeo Toya, has created this installation, carving 30 "trees", a symbolic recreation of woods and snow.
He is inspired by childhood fantasies of magic and terror (think of Grimms fairy tales).  The rugged surfaces, some carved with a chain saw, others much more delicately, are dusted with ashes and polymer paint.
The effect is strong, yet also wistful, lace-like and ethereal.
I think it is gorgeous, too.

The Stations, 1989, Brent Harris

An Australian artist, Brent Harris, born 1956, was aged 33 when he painted The Stations,
a series of 14 semi-abstract scenes of the Stations of the Cross, the pictorial story of Christ's road to Calvary which is featured on the walls of all Catholic churches.
They are quietly intense and haunting, a beautiful example of abstraction in conveying the elements of each scene in a few perfect lines and shapes.
Is there any connection with the fact that Christ was 33 at his crucifixion?
I wonder ...

Looking across the foyer of the gallery, and out into the rain.
Next time I will show some very colourful contemporary Australian Indigenous art.  Meantime, after all those neutrals, let's see some colour today:

Three little Dutch princesses, grandchildren of Queen Beatrix of Holland.
So pretty ...

Michelle Obama in a perfect green/blue sundress this week.

Pink petunias, Red Cardinal balcony.


[PS All art photos by Red Cardinal]

Saturday, July 7, 2012


The sun is shining, the sky is crisp and blue,
and we went to the local Farmers Market.
Don't know about you, but I love our domestic feathered friends.
Decorative and generous, delivering a daily gift...

Fabulous flowers: Stocks, Snapdragons, Foxgloves ...
only seen during winter in our sub-tropical climate.

 I am doing my best to eat organic and pollution-free these days.

Sweet little bananas were grown on a farm just a 10 minute drive from our nest.
Which makes them a bit special!


I love the delicate and hesitant way a maidenhair fern shoots - pale brown and deceptive,
they will become lush green fronds in a few weeks.

After a 4 month enforced break, I am back hand-sewing again.  Yay!!
A bit of backstitch before the fire/TV is soooooo relaxing these winter nights.
Paris, I'll always love you ...

Michelle has been rather quiet on the fashion front lately.
(Could this be something to do with a certain Campaign?)

Patriotic stripes for 4th July - Cute!
And those abs!!  jealous ....

I hope your week goes swimmingly!