Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Do you remember the cute little red hat Kate wore in Canada?
Well, it has appeared again, this time teamed with a gorgeous red lace dress,
worn to a wedding last weekend.
Here's the red hat in Canada:

Don't have any red lace, but
I've had my length of navy lace tucked away in the stash for, hmmmm,
many years....
Anyhoo, this week,
Readers: I Made It!!
Presenting - Ta Dum: The Navy Lace Dress:

To be worn with Cuff and Earrings from Forever New:

I've been to see the exhibition
Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Man, The Image & The World
at the Qld Art Gallery.
Wonderful photographs, by the father of modern photo-journalism;
it is like a roll-call of the 20th century's most famous moments.

Source: Jonathan Jones on Art blog.

Cartier Bresson was there when Ghandi was assassinated, and when Mao and the People's Liberation Army took over in China in 1949.  He was there for the Liberation of France, and the student riots of 1968.
He was in Moscow in 1954, during the Cold War, and he travelled throughout the USA and Asia, taking memorable pictures.  Many of the most famous images ever made are in the exhibition.  Don't Miss It.

We had lovely rain this morning - the garden was soooo pleased.
But it is gone already :-(


Saturday, September 24, 2011


Hi, I've been working the orange frock today,
to see how many combinations I can come up with.
Orange browallia flowers set the mood.
(Also called Marmalade plant, who knew?)

Red Phoenix Emporium White Jewel necklace,
combined with vintage 80s beads.

My Spanish sandals, c. 2005,
work a treat with an El Cheapo bangle.

Kimono style hand-dyed light jacket,
Paddington Markets, Sydney, 2011.

Leopard scarf from the 90s, still going strong;
Yellow beads from a local antique shop,
Orange bead necklace recently found on a stall
raising funds for Ugandan orphans.

Old favourite:  Floaty poppy scarf, very summery.

Off to sew some cushions now..
or maybe make a cuppa....

There is a lovely new orange dress on Annie's blog
Red Roses and Crystal - make sure you take a look!


Friday, September 23, 2011


The Summer Sewing bug finally kicked in this week,
and I've been spending time in the Sewing Room.

I like this orange dress on Gwyneth:

Of course, I have nothing in common with Gwyneth -
she being young, tall, blond, fabulously toned ... and Rich!
But that doesn't stop this little hen.
I got out Simplicity Pattern 2766:

and made this Orange shift dress:

Worry not - the neckline really is symmetrical.
It is just that Emma, the Shabby Chic Decorative Dress Form,
has interesting little bumps in quite awkward places!
(and is rather tinier than Moi).

I like to keep a few pieces of family history about the Cardinal Nest.
This was my mother's Extra-Large Teapot,
which holds at least 20 cuppas.
Famously brought out for all gatherings of the Extended Family Clan.

The teapot sits beside a Bread Bin, which belonged to Mr Cardinal's mother.
It is huge - perhaps it was left outside for home-delivered bread,
back in the day.
Both items are aluminium, no longer popular but
they add a touch of nostalgia to the kitchen.

A few days ago I did a ruthless declutter of my winter Home and Exercise clothes,
gave the sewing room a similar once over,
and shredded a pile of sensitive obsolete documents.
Today the carpet cleaners came to do their magic.
I think I need a good lie down ....


Saturday, September 17, 2011


A surreal experience is still available at
Surrealism: The Poetry of Dreams,
continuing to attract the crowds at GoMA. 
The Surrealists were a group of young bohemians, led by Andre Breton,
 who took a wild artistic ride in early 20th century Paris, 
seeking to explore the subconscious and change the world.
They challenged the status quo in just about everything,
in my favourite artistic period - Early Modernism.
See these historic artworks right here in Brisbane, closing soon.

Near the entrance is this large red arrangement.
Look a little closer, and you will spot:

Yes, the Red Cardinals are there, keeping an eye on proceedings.

Nikolai Demidenko, Demon of the Keyboard, is in town.
Last night the Cardinals attended his fantastic performance of
the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No 2.
It was Thrilling!!

To settle us down after interval, the Qld. Symphony
performed the Rachmaninov 2nd Symphony.
I think I love Rachmaninov best of all the Great Romantics.

The timid Pale-headed Rosellas have returned to our bird-feeder.
They are so sweet and shy, and I had to stalk very carefully to catch this pic.
The dear things were soooo hungry,
and clucked like contented little hens while they breakfasted.
Too Cute.

Some little purple orchids popped out this week.
They seem to thrive on neglect,
unlike the roses who are Very Pernickity.

Last weekend we were freezing in front of the fire,
 arctic winds blowing outside and rattling the windows.
Today it is 33 degrees, with a heat haze across the sky.
This isn't Climate Change...
This is Climate Weird...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Change is ahappening in the Red Cardinal Nest.
The bright Kaffe Fassett quilt has been sidelined from the bedroom,
and replaced with elegant white bed linen from Target (40% off!).
At this stage, seriously undercushioned, but Watch This Space.

On the other hand, it is time to review the neutrals in which I have been seen for the past several months.
Over on the Fabulous Faux Fuchsia blog, Colour-Blocking has been under discussion.
Now, I love colour a lot, but have tended to put just one bright piece with black, white or navy.
While the summer dress-making project moves at a snails pace,
today I tried a little colour-block experimentation with what is already here:

 Dare I wear my yellow linen shirt with purple, turquoise or orange tops?

I think I like these two together...

 What about my fuchsia pink linen skirt, with these colours:

Have you been listening to the just-released Jackie tapes?  What fascinating glimpses into her world.
I was just a little kid when I became a Jackie fan. 
My mother used to say that Jackie would "go down in history" .... and she has.
Jackie's style knew no bounds, and she certainly knew how to work her colours.
She always looked fantastic in pink or yellow:

Wasn't it great to see a couple of her gowns here in Brisbane last year at the Valentino Exhibition?

Enjoy a Colourful Springtime...

Friday, September 9, 2011


I don't know about the rest of you, but I do love a Chook!
Call it what you will -
Chicken, Hen, Rooster, there have always been one or two of them about the place.
It may have started at birth, when I was gifted this hand-painted china tumbler:

I know, not the usual subject for a baby gift -

what was my mother's friend thinking???

I love this little black and white pottery chicken...
I bought it at the Native American Indian Pueblo in Taos, New Mexico, in 2006.
The Pueblo has been continuously inhabited for 1,000 years.
It was so beautiful, just blending into the landscape:

Wonder of Wonders, the Red Cardinal Garden of Neglect has excelled itself,
and produced - ta dum - Freesias.

 I've never planted bulbs before,
but a few months ago I purchased a little bag of 4 from the local Cheap Crazy shop.
Despite the fact that I forgot where I put them, they have excelled their pretty little selves.
Well done, Freesias.

What with the financial down-turns, the rising cost of living, and the general dearth of cute trendy frocks for mature age ladies who would prefer to be young and frivolous, and last saw their waistline a hundred years ago, I have purchased three dress lengths of fabric:

Here's to the triumph of Hope over Experience..
Guess what I'll be doing this weekend??

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Fathers Day at the Red Cardinal nest began with a lovely
International Skype call from one of our fledglings.
Shortly after, our boy Local Lad arrived bearing a bag of fresh produce,
and made this Big Breakfast for his Dad (and Mum).
Every item was just perfect, and delicious.
I don't know where he acquired such impressive culinary talent;
(certainly not from this bird, who has Difficulty Coping with Cooking,
and prefers to spend her time designing the table decor
or playing with the flowers!)

Who doesn't love The Flowers that Bloom in the Spring (Ta Dum)?
This pink rose bush has literally dozens of buds - Exciting!

Last week's rain gave my Freezias the hint, and buds have popped out.
Also exciting ...

Happy Fathers' Day to all Blog Dads!!