Sunday, March 30, 2014


Rain, rain, lots of rain -
Scenes from our back door a few days ago...

I set myself the task of trying to capture photos of rain...

It's not as easy as you'd think..

A few vague vertical stripes here: definitely rain..

So let's look at how some of the great artists tackled the subject:

Google images
Monet painted 'Cliffs at Pourville - Rain'

Google images

and 'Morning on the Seine in the Rain'

Then there is 'Rain, Steam, Speed' by J.M.W. Turner 

and one of Whistler's Nocturnes, of the lagoon in Venice - which looks rainy even if he doesn't say so...

Meanwhile, on the second day of heavy rain our creek was up and flooding for the first time in over a year... we like listening to the rushing waters during the night...

It's always quite exciting when 'my' walking path is both flooded and featuring a tree washed downstream and caught on the bridge...

The creek burst its banks, the flood flattening and cleaning out the grassy banks...

As the water receded I came upon this tiny fish, about 2-3 inches long, left stranded on the concrete pathway - poor little fishy!

A rather large puddle in the park...

which created some pretty reflections..

and yes, we went to see Noah on Saturday night -

It was not the least bit cute like this..

In fact, it was full of tension and quite scary...

The bible story was mixed in with action movie/sci-fi 'interpretations'

It was great to see the ark, apparently made to the bible's specifications: 

As was the flood ....

To be honest, I didn't like the way they changed the story from Genesis, especially about Noah and his family, and their part in the story.

Nevertheless, it kept me on the edge of my seat, and I was quite exhausted when it ended.

And I was intrigued by the costumes - there they were in the ancient world, in a barren landscape with no visible means of support - wearing clever machine-knit tee-shirts, skinny jeans and attractive long boots.  And that's just the women.  Amazing!

Have a great week everybody.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014


It's raining in Brisbane!!
And it has been for most of the day, with some quite heavy showers.
The flowers must be as happy as we are, especially as it is forecast to last for another couple of days.

I went for my walk between showers - or so I thought.  When I was at the furthest point from home, the heavens opened, there was a strong wind, and my umbrella was useless.  I stood under a tree for a while, but was absolutely drenched.
And I didn't mind a bit!

A perfect prelude to Noah, Russell Crowe's new movie, which opens here tomorrow.  It looks exciting in the previews.

We needed some new lamp shades, and you know where my mind is these days.  Target's $15 shades seemed just right...

and a cushion likes company..

This fern came from Dad's old house.  Somehow I have kept it alive while so much has died on me this year; no doubt it will enjoy the rain too.

In sewing news, I have not been idle, just a bit slow lately.
I finished V1385, a new Vogue top, in the lilac linen I bought in Sydney last year.  It fits well, and I think we'll have a nice time together.

I fiddled around for ages with the very popular V1247 top, and made a wearable muslin from some bright stuff in the stash:

I might make it in something a little classier some time in the future - like next Summer?

I wanted to do a trial of Burda 7646, a simple V-neck tee with extended shoulders, intended for knits only.

I used some leftover jersey pieces - there was just enough leopard for a front, and plain black for the back.
Having proved I like the relaxed shape, I want to try it as a silk dress.

But meantime, I have cut out a black fine cotton lawn shirt from the Ralph Lauren Vogue career pattern 2136 of 1988, which I found in the Antique Centre:

I want this shirt for travel, so am hoping for a quick, easy sew.

Yay for rain!!


Sunday, March 23, 2014


Remember Australia's own Germaine Greer?
Fearless feminist and academic, who challenged us all back in 1970 when she launched The Female Eunuch onto a startled world?

I have read many of her subsequent books, and had to have the latest, White Beech: The Rainforest Years.

One night back in 2000, my sister and I enjoyed a great night at a fund-raiser for a struggling women's health centre south of Brisbane, with Germaine as a fantastic guest speaker.  She charged nothing to come, donating her time generously.  

Germaine had been seeking to purchase land in Australia to regenerate for future generations, and had been looking for several years.
The day after the fund-raiser, local organisers took her to see an abandoned dairy farm, formerly rainforest, in the mountainous corner of south-east Queensland, specifically in The Numinbah Valley.

Germaine was smitten, and purchased the property, Cave Creek, using her life's savings.  White Beech tells the story of her project, turning her 60 hectares of scrubland back into the original Godwana rainforest.  

The title White Beech refers to a stupendous tree which can grow to 40 metres, mostly cut down and exported over the past 150 years, and local to this area.  The book tells of her attempts to propagate this and many other threatened local species.  She traces the history of her land, both by colonial settlers and the area's Aboriginal history.  

Germaine did a lot of the work herself, in between her commitments as Professor Emerita of English Literature and Comparative Studies at the University of Warwick, England.  The project is now a registered charity, and known as The Cave Creek Rainforest Rehabilitation Scheme.

I grew up in the same general area, and enjoyed reading familiar stories, names and places mentioned in the book.  Today we took my Dad (93, and getting frail now), on a drive to Beechmont, named for the white beech and on the next mountain ridge from Cave Creek.

It is very pretty farming country, but far removed from its original rainforest state.  Alas, we see no white beech trees these days.

Eventually we found a little cafe tucked away in a rustic but refreshing green garden.  Up here in the mountains it is cooler and they do get more rain than Brisbane.  Where our gardens are dead or dying from the hottest summer on record, they have camellias blossoming:

Oh, please let it rain soon!

This week I sent off the blog's giveaway parcel, to Kristie in Canada..
Here's a little preview, Kristie...

Australia's own Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, has been photographed in a pale pink gown by Australia's own Carla Zampatti...
Well done at every level, Mary.

Michelle Obama is visiting China with her mother and daughters.
Red seems the perfect colour choice, doesn't it?

I read that Michelle is personally writing a blog as she travels.
But I have not been successful in locating it.
Anyone found it?

My clever friend V pointed out that my white-bird-on-a-tree is actually a bud vase.
Sometimes my lack of comprehension really frightens me...

Wishing you all a delightful week, dear readers.


Monday, March 17, 2014


Cead mile failte*
A Very Happy St Patrick's Day to ye all,
to be sure...

As is our tradition, my friend M. and I went off to the city for morning tea at the Mater Hospital Committee's annual St Patrick's fundraiser..

Enjoyed the Irish dancing lasses, the balladeers and the flautists -
then went back home to Australia...

The other night Mr C and I took our selves off to the opera,
specifically the Opera Queensland production of Rigoletto.
Which seemed appropriate as it is sung in Italian, and written by Verdi.

But did it look like this traditional opera poster??

Not at all:

This old and tragic story was brought right up into the 21st century...

Here's the Duke of Mantua..

and here's the saucy wench depicted on the left in the old poster,
doing a strippers dance on top of a bar, singing perfectly operatically at the same time - Impressive!

What happened next cannot be shown in a g-rated blog...

I dug out this navy lace dress from 2011, and spent an hour or two taking it in quite a bit...well, 4 inches actually, the only form of mending I quite enjoy..

It works a treat with my new navy shoes and clutch, and enjoyed the outing..
So did the Cardinals.

And now, as promised, today is Giveaway Day:

I put everybody's name in a basket, closed my eyes and turned around three times, thought of St Patrick, and pulled out the winner:

Congratulations to the lovely Kristie, of North of 49, a really nice blog - 
Pop on over and have a look.  She lives in Canada, but the opposite side of the country to the Red Cardinal grandsons.

Kristie will receive the elk red bird brooch, and a bundle of Red Cardinal related goodies.  If we ask her nicely she might show and tell when she receives her package.

and have a great week


* A hundred thousand welcomes