Thursday, November 29, 2012


Well, I turned another year older today, not that I admit to the numbers these days.
And I am very happy to still be around to celebrate!
Started the day with a skype session with my new grandson, Little Bebe in Canada.
13 days old, and weighs over 11 lb. already.
His little chubby face is just the sweetest thing, and he rolled his eyes at the camera for us,
prompting squeals of delight (and that was just me!)
The little family have already hit the Mall.
I am most impressed with this double buggy arrangement, with big brother in front and little bebe up top.  Petit Garcon made train noises, as they chugged along together.
I hit the Mall too with my sisters, for the usual celebratory lunch and shopping excursion.
I was very spoilt all day, with gifts from far and near: I love them all!
Look at my Peri Cutten ombre silk scarf, and arm party pile of bracelets.
And a white cardinal - both apt and unusual.
Everybody is doing pastels this year.
I love a paper doll book, and here is another for the collection.
Hits both spots with me: art and dress design.
I have always been intrigued by Frida Kahlo.
Made myself a good old-fashioned sponge cake birthday cake.
Very rustic presentation, but it's my birthday so I do it my way...
I'll see you all later ...

Monday, November 26, 2012


Remember this machine which I saw in a bakery last week in Sydney?
Not one, but two friends with impeccable credentials, J and V, have told me what it does.
It is a piece of Baker's equipment - surprise, surprise!
The baker puts a big round of dough on the plate, pulls down the lid,
and it cuts and rolls the dough into 30 little bread rolls.
Brilliant, and now we know how they make the rolls all the same size.
Thank you ladies...
Yesterday we took my father to his favourite place, good old Tamborine (no U) Mountain.
The mountain, a plateau, has rich red volcanic soil, and a mild climate with good rain.
It is home to lots of little farms and beautiful gardens, and is a great place to buy organic produce.
We had coffee on a deck surrounded by avocado and other fruit trees.
Even found me some organic marmalade.  Yum.
I told Dad about our newly arrived grandson, his latest great-grandson, in Canada.  And that one of the baby's names is Dad's own name.
He was just wreathed in smiles.
It was wonderful to see.
This is what I am reading these days:
'And Furthermore' by the lovely and much-loved Dame Judi Dench,
heroine of the short-haired, vertically challenged, woman of a certain age.
Which would be moi.
Reading it is like a breath of fresh air, and her delightful personality shines through the anecdotes of her life.
She seems to be incredibly energetic.
I think the Cardinals need to go see her as M in Skyfall!
Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Hi there,
Today I went to the movie Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel ..
I love, Love, LOVED IT!!
Her life covered all the great style eras of the 20th Century,
from the Belle Epoque to the 80s.
And she was there interpreting and living it, in the most glamourous way!
She was an adviser to my idol, Jacqueline Kennedy, in the White House years.
Which gives her extra kudos from me.
My favourite quote:
"Imagine a world without Leopard!
Who'd want to live in it??"
Who indeed ...
Her apartment on the Upper East Side was decorated entirely in red.
She was interviewed there, and I wanted to pause the film just to look around the room.
Soooo Dramatic!
Afterwards, we wound down with a visit to Magnolia - love that shop ...
where I bought a cool summer shirt,
which matches the jeans I bought in Sydney last Sunday...
Our Agapanthus are blooming again.
They offer big impact in return for total neglect.
Good plants.
Hope your week is a winner ...

Sunday, November 18, 2012


We spent the weekend in Sydney, which was just as well because the storms here were, apparently, horrendous!
I was happily fossicking in the Antique & Collectables centre near my son's place.
Bought a retro yellow vase ....
and a length of retro navy floral crepe de chine from the 60s ..
inspired by a dress I saw in Marc's ...
It will be off to the sewing nest for this piece.
Enjoyed brunch at Grandma's Little Bakery ..
which was also delightfully retro, from its red spot tablecloths,
to the kitchenalia decor..
I think this is a washing machine.  Any ideas?
And they sold this little specialty -
Quince Jam, perfect to make the Christmas Cake featured
 by Sanda, of Halcyon Days.
Go and read her wonderful recipe in a recent post.
We spent some time in the city, at the Queen Victoria Building.
Unfortunately I managed to make her sceptre look like a long pipe.
Her Majesty might turn in her grave at this outrage!
Our son and his Irish lass fed us a veritable feast ..
Just look at this baked cherry cheesecake.
Reader, it was Amazing!!
Naturally, we toasted the arrival in Canada of our new grandson.
He has a wonderful name which works well in both English and French.
Just like his big brother.
This is probably the first and last photo of him I will show and tell, 
taken at about 3 hours after birth.
Isn't he beautiful?
Have a delightful and safe week.


Thursday, November 15, 2012


And so it came to pass .... far, far away on the other side of the world,  as the last golden days of Autumn faded into the crisp winter air,
 a baby boy was born ...
No, no, no
not that baby boy ....
We have a new grandson!
Little Bebe was born a few hours ago in Canada, and our Petit Garcon is now a big brother!
choirs of angels sang ....
No, really, where was I?
The baby's mother, our darling daughter, is very happy and well,
cosied up in hospital with proud Papa, and excited big brother.
We are singing her praises, because the baby weighed a huge 10lb.4oz.
And he was a week early ...
Little Bebe's names include that of his great-grandfather, my Dad, who at 92 will be very proud.
The family name has previously been given to one of our sons and a cousin.
I think it is lovely to keep a tradition going ...
I have sent him a little quilt, for the purposes of lying about and animal instruction.
And some essential reading matter and a rubber ducky.
As a Grannie does ...
The other day I made his Christmas stocking.
Now I can embroider his name across the top.
Wish I was over in Canada in the cold.
It's going to be 37C (100F) round here today.
Have a great weekend, dear readers.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012


The love affair with orange continues ...
I found an orange porcelain frame at the local pharmacy - $12.00! 
Bargain ....
and I still love pink ..
tiny pink tree bought for $2 in the post-Christmas sales in January,
 festooned with silvery white birds given to me by my friend L!
Christmas teapot: 50c. in a charity shop in England ..
Gifted coffee mug, vintage finds, and milk glass comport from my mother ..
Red cardinal mug purchased last year in Canada,
and more local vintage treasures ..
Put it all together and:
Voila, the hutch is Christmassed!
Of course I have a Red Cardinal tree - but you knew that, didn't you?
In other news, I am as slow as the proverbial wet week,
but at last I finished Vogue 8805 ....
a very comfortable linen dress for summer.
The only alteration to the pattern in the insertion of a zip down the back instead of the short top opening in the original pattern.  Much easier to keep the linen crisp by stepping into the dress, and not be dragging it over the head!
Hope you week is going well ...

Sunday, November 11, 2012


This beautiful hand-painted, Wedgewood cake plate belonged to my mother.
I loved it as a child, and was very happy when I found it during our clean out of the old family home this year.  It was in the kitchen, mixed up with a lot of cheap and chipped plates.
And it was still in perfect condition.
This year it may take the honour of holding our Christmas Cake.
Mum's little Shelley apple blossom dish is another treasure.
Such items keep the memories alive and are a pleasure to use...
and this Christmas I have my mother's old Nativity scene, given a new lease of life at our nest.
Today is Remembrance or Armistice Day.
We remember those of lost their lives in World War 1.
My Grandfather survived the experience, serving in the Fields of Flanders and the Somme.
These are his service medals.

Lest we Forget ...