Saturday, June 28, 2014


I believe our two minutes of genuine Winter have finally arrived...
we had frost on the lawn this week..

and the dreaded bitter Westerly Winds are a'blowin today.. brrrr

I went to church in boots, leather gloves, long scarf, heavy wool jacket -
and struggled to sing in the choir: I think my throat was tight with cold..

The Red Cardinal palms are doing battle with the winds..

Mr C and I had hot chocolate (with mini marshmallows) for lunch -
but that didn't fix us..

Despite the fact that we both wish to lose a pound or two in the next 49 days, it seemed nothing would do but:

Mr C said cake was Mandatory.
He is a Management Consultant and must be obeyed .... hmmm

49 days?




and of course, Padua:

Anyone like to recommend a hotel in Paris, or Padua?

I'll check out all suggestions...

Mr C is chopping logs as we speak..
Could be a nice fire tonight...

Have a lovely week


Friday, June 27, 2014


Wonderfully eccentric, a whimsical free spirit, bohemian, theatrical and fun, friend of the talented and the famous, she loved 'people who Do Things'...
Her house was an old hat factory, chaotically yet carefully constructed as one continuous still life, room by room.
It was her Studio and her Salon, and those who enjoyed her hospitality around the enormous dining table were captivated by the experience.

She was one of Australia's most-loved artists, Margaret Olley [1923-2011],
famous for her gorgeous still-life paintings, warm, richly coloured visions of flowers, fruits, and her lifetime collections of china, glass, animals, textiles, and exotic pieces of furniture and bric-a-brac.

'Poppies and Checked Cloth', 2008, Margaret Olley

Here is Margaret in 2007 at an Exhibition of her recent paintings..

Frequent guests around Margaret's table included Barry Humphries, Clive James, current and former Prime Ministers, many other artists and actors.  The day before she died, in 2011, while putting the finishing touches to her last exhibition, Australia's Governor-General Quentin Bryce and her husband Michael, brought a picnic lunch to the Hat Factory - not for the first time!

Now for the surprising part:
The contents of the house were bequeathed to the Tweed Regional Art Gallery at Murwillumbah in northern New South Wales, an area where Margaret lived as a child:

A purpose-built extension has been built, overlooking these stunning views of Mt. Warning and the Tweed valley.  In a breath-taking feat of contemporary archaeology, the interior of Margaret Olley's house has been transported from Sydney and recreated as a permanent memorial and museum.

Exciting to those familiar with the paintings..
your can see and recognize dozens of pieces, just like old friends.

Heaps of books, not so random:
each group were on a particular, artistic, subject.

This is where Olley sat to paint:

Viewing is through just three normal doorways, and a couple of windows, making the permitted photography a little difficult.
Nevertheless, on the day we visited, dozens of excited fans were doing just what I was: attempting to make our own little 'Olley Still Lifes' with our cameras!

I came home with a strong inclination to up-scale the eclectic clutter in the Cardinal Nest...

In other exciting news, I have been medically cleared to travel, and we are busily re-scheduling our cancelled trip to Europe.
After my Margaret Olley experience, I am dreaming of immersing myself into Monet's paintings...

Ah, Monet....

I'm off to research more about Paris and Italy -
Keep warm, and have a lovely weekend.


Friday, June 20, 2014


It's cold, it's raining, it's time for a warming cup of coffee...
and we are Loving It!

The cooler temperatures are kind to pretty flowers...

and this week my ladies' choir went to sing at an Aged Care Facility, as we often do...
It is wonderful to see the joy on the old faces.  A lady in the back row conducted us with one finger, all through the concert - so sweet.

Everybody loved our version of Lara's theme from Dr Zhivago:

Back in the Beatle olden days, we were all besotted by Omar Sharif, and when not copying the designs of Mary Quant on our old Singer treadle sewing machines,

we were attempting to copy the Russian fashions of Julie Christie and Geraldine Chaplin....

Well, those days are gone, but I'm not giving up on the faux fur, no, not I...

Remember the car coat pattern and the leopard?

Well, a couple of single digit morning temperatures, 
and I am on a sewing adventure:

Collar's on, now to work on the sleeves...

Thinking of Europe, I would like to introduce you to two very attractive bloggers, both located in Rotterdam, The Netherlands:

Bee on lavender: Red Cardinal Garden of Neglect

If you love flowers, and let's be honest, who doesn't, you must visit Madelief.
Her garden is an enchantment, and the photos gorgeous.
Whether you are a gardener or an admirer, you will love it.

Tough as nails Crucifix Orchid, Red Cardinal Garden of Neglect

Valerie Poore, of Wateryways, writes about life on a historic barge which she restored herself, while teaching and writing books.  I don't know when/if Val ever sleeps.  I have enjoyed two of her books about her beloved barges: Watery Ways and Harbour Ways and it all sounds idyllic.  There is no end to this woman's talents.

Val's barge, The Vereeniging, is moored in the vicinity of Rotterdam's famous and fabulous Cubic Houses...

Aren't they amazing?
Picasso by the harbour...

Inspirational Art piece of the week:

Random free-form knitting by my friend V. 
Will it become a shawl or a throw? 
If it was mine, I think it would be framed and up on the wall...
So vibrant and such gorgeous colours!

Happy weekend to you all