Saturday, February 23, 2013


At last our roses have risen to the challenge, accepted the blessing of frequent showers,
and decided to Bloom ...

Hello, Yellow Rose - it's been a long time!

Naturally, I was attracted to this fabric the other day.
I think it will be a winner made up in McCalls 6278 with plain navy inserts...

and, if the dress is a success, it will win a prize trip to Canada,
and attendance at a very important event:
The Christening of the Little Bebe, our latest grandson...

He has grown a bit now, but here's a reminder of him as a newborn.

Pondering on a special gift for him, I thought I'd show something I have preserved all my life, and which was a curious gift at my own Christening as a newborn:

A white china beaker, handpainted by the giver with my name and,
wait for it ....

A coq, a rooster, the French Emblem, and his meek little hen.
This one's for you, Silver Bunny!!

No wonder I have loved French culture all my life!

Only a few hours until the Oscars...
Enjoy yourselves, Aussie contenders Hugh Jackman and Jackie Weaver -
I'm cheering for you!

Have a fun week ..


Friday, February 22, 2013


This week the charming Rosemary of Where Five Valleys Meet, showed beautiful photos of Newark Park, a Grade 1 listed house in the Cotswolds.  Among other treasures, a collection of pottery swans were found throughout the house.

Google images

The next day New Zealand blogger Shane, of Roses, Lace and Brocante featured a visit to a summer garden at Coatesville, Auckland.
It seemed perfectly natural that there should be a white swan swimming on the lake...

Google images
It seems these lovely blogs were harbingers of another Swan event:
Yesterday I was suddenly invited to see the Australian Ballet's new production of Swan Lake:

Starring Amber Scott and Adam Bull, with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra  playing Tchaikovsky's ravishing score, it is a triumph of the traditional, tweaked just a little towards contemporary taste.
I enjoyed it very much indeed...

Who remembers Dame Margot Fonteyn?
Here she is in a 1953 production of Swan Lake, discussed in the program.
I saw her here in Brisbane twice, the first time in this role.
She was the most exquisite thing I have ever seen, as she fluttered onto the stage, and I have never forgotten it.  So sad that she died too soon.

Google images

Did you know the black swan is indigenous to Australia?
It was thought to be an impossibility to Europeans, until Willem de Vlamingh sailed up the coast of Western Australia in 1696 and found them in the Swan River.

They have successfully bred in Britain and Europe, and Napoleon and Josephine had black swans in their garden at Malmaison.
And of course, some introduced white swans happily survive, generally in captivity, in Australia.

Hope you swan about in great style this weekend..


Monday, February 18, 2013


It's official!
We are off to Canada in the Northern Spring, to see our darling daughter and her family...

This is how it looks about now ..

and the last time the Cardinals went together, in winter:

This time we plan something different:

Daffodils, tulips, and lots of other pretty flowers we can't grow here...

and best of all, two small boys, 
our grandsons the Petit Garcon and the Little Bebe.

Might take this just in case of Spring showers ..

Leopard print brolly - $8, Coles!

Lovely rain here today is heaven for the garden:

Mr C and I agreed: such damp and cool weather required

Banana bread ...

Veal paprika and dumplings ...

(Good thing I went to the gym today).

Have a great week!


Friday, February 15, 2013


I finished my blue and white shirt and must say I am pleased with the result.
McCalls 6436 worked well, with minor adjustments to fit.

New blue tote has been out and about to accompany the shirt ...

and I am happy to see cobalt is extending into next season:

Behold Michelle at the State of the Union address ..

Three new patterns have arrived from Club BMV -
I have so many sewing ideas in my head, and I know I have too many projects already awaiting my attention.
I can't wait to attempt M6278, if only I could find suitable material.
Don't know about others sewists, but I find it difficult in Brisbane to find fabrics which I love ..
I have tried internet shopping with indifferent results.
Maybe I need to try some new sites.
Any suggestions, anyone?

Another rustic cake appeared yesterday.
Reader, we ate it!

It is raining again, lightly, and the garden has finally started to bloom.
I love the approach of Autumn.

Have a fantastic weekend!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013


May your day be filled with loving hearts.

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Lovely Valentine flowers from Mr Red Cardinal