Monday, November 21, 2022



And just like that, Christmas is around the corner..

(Warning: this post is heavy on Christmas festive cheer).

It has been a busy, and slightly different, year for the Red Cardinals.

Our son and his family moved from Sydney to Brisbane to be near us.  We have been delighted by the arrival of our first granddaughter, and love spending time with her older brothers, the boy twins as well.

We seen them all once or twice a week for 'play' time..

and are still trying to keep our 'other lives' going as well.

Last week the Christmas tree went up..

I made it pink to celebrate our little grandie girl...

I have collected the occasional pink ornament for years, but never made a big feature of them before.

Selfridges, London, 2004

Ottawa, Canada, 2010

Made for me by my dear friend M.

All the fragile decorations are not coming out this year..

Instead, we are having a child-friendly theme including this fabulous Lego Gingerbread house.

The little boys love it!

Jacarandas continue blooming in their purple glory..

and our Agapanthus have arrived in force:

So what does one do when feeling just a little tired from the busyness, the round of medical appointments, commitment to the community, home and family?

Well, I have begun a 'slow stitching' project, using all my stashed fabric scraps, bits and bobs, to make my 'Roxy's Christmas Journal of Stitchery', a group sew-along on Facebook and Youtube.  Prompts are given every couple of weeks, and stitchers create their own visions.  Many are published on Facebook.

Some of my works in progress..
I am incorporating vintage bits of bobbin lace and tatting, made by my late mother...

Most of these fabrics are left over from quilts made 20 or 30 years ago.

Will I ever actually finish the book?  
I have no idea, but the stitching is soothing, and the creation is fun.

Enjoy the Season, and have a great week.


Friday, October 28, 2022



October is the month of storms: so said my mother...
and right on cue, we have had our first Summer thunderstorms.

October also sees our annual display of purple Jacaranda trees, all over Brisbane.  Our little tree, only a few years old, but now as high as the house, is getting in the spirit of things and the blooms are busting forth.

'Under the Jacaranda', R. Godfrey Rivers, 1903.  QAG

This is the most popular painting in the Queensland Art Gallery, an impressionist painting of the first Jacaranda tree introduced into the Brisbane Botanical Gardens in the late 19th century from South America.

As night follows day, the blue Agapanthus follow the Jacaranda.  These are the first of a large display we have each year in our garden.

Our annual Hippeastrum has arrived - always a treat..

Lorikeets visit every day..

Along with the storms, yesterday was our first scorching hot day, 33c. 

I do not have a photo, but a neighbour came to tell me a large Eastern Brown snake (they love the heat!) had been seen crossing the street and going into the hedge at the side of our house.  Well, it is snake season, but I wish they would stay away.  I am avoiding the garden area, and sending Mr. Cardinal outside with the garbage for a few days.

A couple of years ago, one of these snakes took up residence on the far side of our swimming pool, and was seen several times over a few weeks.  Fingers crossed the latest visitor will go on his way and not move in.

I have been getting all crafty lately, working on a Christmas stitchery, getting out a UFO (unfinished object), a Christmas quilt, and working on getting it finished.
And painting a few rustic watercolour Christmas cards...

Have you begun Christmas shopping?
I have not done a thing.  
The pandemic, followed by our repressed Economy in Australia, is not conducive to spending.  I am thinking a more pared down Christmas might be appropriate for 2022.

Have a great weekend.


Sunday, October 16, 2022


A day of rain has brightened up our Spring blooms 

and today the Sun shone again..

There are wild ducks everywhere, as I go for my walk.
Soon there will be little lines of ducklings ...

Today, a nearby road

I could not resist a new calico doorstop...

In other news, my friend J gave me a cushion to match our Summer Flowers duvet cover - painted in acrylic on fabric by her own fair hands...

Thank you, we love it!

The new Prince and Princess of Wales have taken up their duties -
and Catherine has shone in some new Autumn style...

In Wales, a chic red coat, a not to the Welsh national colour..

Love the new wide-leg trousers too..

Conservative in cream...

A gorgeous blue coat on a visit to Belfast..

and a vintage Chanel jacket.

Is she settling on a smart trouser suit look for Autumn?

As a lover of yellow, I am pleased to report a pretty dress on a sunny day.  

Perhaps you have heard, the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla will take place on 6th May, 2023.  I am trying to figure out a way to go to London around that time - I know, just dreaming...

Have a good week.


PS Our twin grandsons turned 2!  Doesn't time fly..