Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Helsinki looks beautiful!
And the lovely Mette of Metscan has invited us to coffee and chat at
Cafe Aalto, Helsinki, on Wednesday.
This virtual date is an occasion not to be missed.
I for one must be there - I do, after all, sing in the Alto line in my Choir for Ladies of a Certain Age!

Mette's only condition is that we post about what we plan to wear.

Well, I thought if I was quick I could run up a new dress in this chartreuse ponti knit and try Vogue Pattern V8786.

But then, I figured that would be too rushed, it is too cold and wet,
and I am too lazy.
Let's just go with the old fave black-dress-for-all-occasions:

And because I hail from the Sunshine State of Queensland,
where we like a bit of colour,
I will add my vintage fuchsia pink blazer...
and favourite scarf ..
and because I like to promote local designers,
add a couple of Red Phoenix Emporium necklaces.

The Faux Fuchsia Leo with Match My Missoni.
And pearl and sparkle studs.

Black clutch and comfortable new Ziera shoes,
for prowling the streets of Helsinki and taking in the sights!

Thanks Mette, I'll virtually see you there.
What is on the menu?
Is there a special Finnish delicacy we can taste?


Monday, June 25, 2012


As my physiotherapist said last week "You post-surgery ladies want to do everything much too soon".
Yes, we do, and sometimes we pay the price.  I have been guilty of Doing Too Much, and Not Looking After Myself.  And have fallen in a bit of a heap. 
More early nights and less of what Mum used to call Gadding About seem to be required.

This pair of candlesticks were bought by my parents in Spain in 1975,
They had just built a Spanish style home and were having a ball buying themed souvenirs.
I made this extremely amateurish pastel sketch of the house for them
at some stage:

The dear things kept it all these years!

My mother's old china cabinet has now arrived at our house. 
She promised it to me all my life.

In the spirit of synchronicity which I love, as we clean out the Spanish house,
and I am in preparation for the Art of the Prado Exhibition coming soon to our State Gallery,
the Martin Sheen/Emilio Estevez movie The Way has been showing locally.

For purposes of research, Mr Cardinal and I flew off to see it.
Filmed in northern Spain, the story is based around, and honours, the
Camino de Santiago, a popular 800 km pilgrimage from the Pyrenees to Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.  Legend has it that the remains of the Apostle James are buried here.

I loved watching the austere Spanish countryside and sweet towns along the way, and the Cathedral is breathtaking.
In fact I was intrigued by the whole movie.

And as if there was not enough stuff moving into the nest,
the other day I found this little yellow cutie at Paddo Antique Centre.
Lunched at The Hamptons, and popped into the Happiness Place.
As you do.

The weather round here is absolutely miserable,
but have a Happy Week anyway!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Now I don't want you all to get excited, but it seems Colin Firth has been around the place lately,
filming The Railway Man in a railway town about 30 minutes from the Cardinal Nest.
Not that I noticed, of course...

I have been preoccupied with the sorting out of my old family home.
My 91 year old Dad relocated a few months ago to a beautiful care facility not far from where he lives.
He has adjusted really well and by all accounts is quite a star there,
loving all the attention and first on the bus for their many outings.
Mum died a few years ago, so we are not in the throes of new grief.
Therefore it was a cheery day, and quite the fun gathering for we six,
the perfectly matching family: 3 x girls, and 3 x boys.
My mother was so organised she alternated as she went -
 girl, boy, girl, boy, girl, boy.

Won't bore you with everything I brought home, but I am pretty happy with my Orange Florentine glass jug.
I know it will be happy here.

An olde worlde tea service.  Mum, I'll think of you every time I make tea!

It's no secret I am in love with milk glass: 
here's another gorgeous piece for the collection.

Ye olde Singer treadle sewing machine!
How old would this be??

A sweet swan from Germany.
My parents travelled a lot.

Speaking of swimming on water, did I mention Colin Firth is in town?
Thought not .......

ahem, now where was I?

Coles have bunches of ten roses, two in each colour for $8.00.
Handy when the garden has frozen into non-action for the winter.

Everyone is talking about the royal pastels at the Order of the Garter Service.
I am too, and it is Camilla's pale pink that has me besotted.  Just beautiful!
Just as well she is in London and I am, well, here,
or I would be Stalking with Intent to Steal it all for myself :)
As always, Kate looked wonderful too!

Happy Wednesday to you!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I have been thinking all things Spanish lately.
Particularly Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado,
an exhibition coming soon to our Qld. Art Gallery,
right here in little old Brisbane.

Source: Google Earth

This is the fabulous Prado (not to be confused with Prada) Museum in Madrid.
The exhibition will bring hundreds of masterpieces, dating from the Golden Age of the 1600s, the time of Diego Velazquez,
through to the twentieth century and Picasso.

Las Meninas, 1656, Diego Velazquez.  Source: Google Images
The Prado holds Las Meninas (Spanish for Maids of Honour), one of the world's most famous paintings.
Alas, it will not be travelling around the world to see us.
But many other famous and wonderful paintings will make the trek.

I have never been to Spain, but live in hope.
However I have enjoyed the Old Spanish influence in the culture of New Mexico and Texas.

The Alamo: San Antonio, Texas, an old Spanish Mission central to the Battle of the Alamo, 1836,
during the war of independence between Texas and Mexico.
The story is retold in the great old Hollywood movie, The Alamo, 1960,
starring John Wayne as Davy Crockett.
It was downright spooky inside there ...

The Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe, New Mexico, built 1610,
and the oldest continuously occupied public building in the USA.
This was the seat of government of the Spanish colony of New Mexico.
I loved Santa Fe, and bought lots of local crafts at the market along the colonades of the Palace.

The adobe buildings are so sculptural and organic.
Loved them!

My wonderful friend C crotcheted this beautiful pink shawl for me!
It is the softest cashmere, light as a feather, and perfect for these chilly nights.
And it could be said to look a bit Spanish, too.  Bonus...
Thank you, dear C!

Bought some new flannel sheets ...
Guess who's coming to stay for the weekend ..

And at a local Seriously Cheap Shop:

Some grannie will be playing Bubba cinos tomorrow :)))

Have a fun weekend everybody!



Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Snow had been falling early last week in the only region in Queensland known for the odd snowfall.
The Cardinals decided to fly off to Stanthorpe in the Granite Belt close to the southern border of the state.
Alas, no snow could be found, but the brass monkey in the main street looked a little cold.

It was satisfyingly bleak, cold and wet, and warm coats, scarves, hats and gloves were seenAnd that was just Mr Cardinal...

We enjoyed fresh seasonal produce ..

and found our way to the Chocolate Shop out in the bush and up in the hills.

Drank a lot of hot chocolate too ..

Quirky garden stuff - don't you love the funny tourist spots?

Discovered a lavender farm over the border in New South Wales:

Bought a pile of lavender goodies, jams and relish, candles and fragrance, natural soaps, chocolates .....

Can't keep a good shopaholic down!

Invigorated by this expedition, I finished the pyjamas for the Petite Garcon:

They are now winging their way across the Pacific, to our dear little grandson.
Hope he likes them!

and hope your week is going well ..



Friday, June 8, 2012


Happily, I returned to rehearsals at my Ladies Choir today, after nearly 4 months absent.
It was great to be back amongst friends,
and on this crisp wintry morning to sing
John Rutter's version of All Things Bright and Beautiful.  Which they were!

I wore my new purple jeans.  Of course...

with black sweater, pink bag, and favourite new scarf.
As the lovely Mette, of Metscan, points out, we can wear the brights in Queensland,
(aka the Sunshine State).

With the cooler weather upon us, I figured all self-respecting snakes would be hibernating under a log in the bush, and ventured into this jungle, a part of the Red Cardinal Garden of Neglect rarely visited.

I found several bunches of red berries; very Christmassy

and lots of giant pink hibiscus. 
 Funny how such a tropical flower blooms in winter.

In other news, the Petite Garcon in Canada needs some summer PJs.
Even in the land of snow it apparently gets hot sometimes.
This Grannie has been to spotlight:

Hopefully a little pair of size 3 jamas will be winging their way across the Pacific in a few days.

Have a super weekend!