Saturday, June 29, 2013

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Sunday, June 23, 2013



or blue:

That is the question!

Wasn't it lovely to see the Queen's horse win at Ascot ...
a lovely Coronation Anniversary gift.
And didn't she look beautiful, and happy..

This one will divide the masses, but I liked the Ascot outfit worn by Lady Helen Taylor, daughter of the Duke of Kent.
Colour-blocking in its finest hour...

Michele has also been colour-blocking, on a trip to Berlin.
The black/white combination has been popping up about the place,
and would be easy to copy.
Except I would worry about it looking a bit Kardashian ...

Pretty party dress....sigh, look at her perfect shoulders...

Happy Sunday, 
and have a great week


Friday, June 21, 2013


Behold the Australian White Ibis -
the latest creature to attack the Red Cardinal Garden ...

This week we began to notice the appearance of strange holes in the back garden - dozens of them like these, about 4 inches deep..

Exposed roots and lots of evidence of burrowing under a tree ..

We ruminated on this for a day or so, considered the possibility of a particularly clever scrub turkey, bandicoots, hares or rabbits (unlikely as they are not found here), possums (no, they eat fruit), crows (even they are not that crazy), or maybe aliens.

Then on day 3, I stood looking at the mess, when suddenly with a great flapping of wings a white ibis rose from the garden and flew off down towards our creek.  Where, incidentally, there are quite a few of his mates gathered feasting on whatever ibis eat.

The ibis is a wetlands bird, which has migrated to the cities of eastern Australia since the 1970s, as habitat decreases.  They have become quite a pest, like to hang around rubbish dumps and anywhere else food can be easily found.  Outdoor cafes are a particular favourite.

Maybe I frightened it, because, fingers crossed, the constant digging of long pointy beaks seems to have ceased.  For now...

Speaking of birds, I know the fad for bird prints has largely come and gone,
but this was languishing in my fabric stash.
And it was time to stitch it up or forget the whole idea.

Today I decided on Butterick 5804 and cut out the very girly blouse with bow tie at the neck.  It just seemed right on a bleak day with chill winds and rain - it will work so well under jackets.

New bed linen - London themed!
Even Mr Cardinal commented on its cheerfulness ...

I remember pointsettias from my childhood.
They always decorated our church on Pentecost Sunday..

These days they are more associated with Christmas, and this one was bought as festive decor last Christmas, then consigned to the garden.
It looks happy.

Have a lovely weekend


Monday, June 17, 2013


As the biting winds and chill cold of winter bite into Brisbane's West,
I seek that most humble of vegetables, the Pumpkin!
Pumpkin soup, warm and golden ...
Pumpkin mashed, baked, turned into scones or breads ..

The weekend skies were that brilliant blue rarely seen in our hazy summer ..
the blue which comes as the sun warms up a morning of low, single digit temperatures ..

The Cardinals flew off for a hot chocolate fix at this popular spot upstream on the Brisbane River, known as College's Crossing.
Those people down there are fishing -

Poor College's has been inundated by very bad flooding twice in the past two years, and the evidence is still there - fenced off for safety...

The kiosk, happily renovated in its high vantage point, was basking in the winter sunshine and doing a roaring trade -

The Brisbane River, rendered in stone as part of a large paved area..

We popped into a local plant nursery on the way home

and spent the rest of the day 'improving' the Garden of Neglect ..

You know how much I like a bird: behold the new white lorikeet which has mysteriously appeared among my milk glass collection - who, me?

Found this blue pansy ring holder in Canada - 
note the pansies I planted two weeks ago are flowering prolifically already -
pansies are tough little friends..

What can I say?
I love the cooler weather 

Have a lovely cosy week


Friday, June 14, 2013


Mr C bought me red roses this week - and it's not even Valentine's Day!

Are you ready, all you quilters, embroiderers, patchworkers and sewists out there?
It opens tomorrow:  'Quilts 1700-1945'

Brisbane is the lucky sole Australian venue for this gorgeous exhibition featuring historic patchwork and quilting work from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Many pieces are 300 years old - amazingly, they have been preserved!

The catalogue is gorgeous, and the Pop-up Shop is not to be missed.
I'll be buying stuff every time I go past...

I can't show you any of those quilts,
so I'll show this Friendship Quilt block I am currently working on...
I find random creative embroidery very relaxing...

and one shelf of the Quilt Cupboard, located in my sewing room.
As you can see, I have had a go at many different quilting fads over the years ...

From my crinoline lady phase, and as the Red Cardinal, there's always a bird or birdhouse in there somewhere..

Sections of a silk and vintage lace crazy quilt I made under the guidance of the late, great, inspirational Ruth Stoneley..

To complement the V&A exhibition, the gallery will show an exhibition of Ruth's contemporary quilts in
'Ruth Stoneley - A Stitch in Time', commencing on 13th July.

It will be very special to lots of Brisbane ladies who knew and stitched with Ruth.

Didn't Kate look great?
An unexpected and playful Dalmatian print for her final pre-baby assignment...
Well done!

The sun is shining, and the temperatures are going down.
Here's to a lovely weekend in front of the fire..

Happy quilting!


Monday, June 10, 2013


Mr Cardinal bought me a Very Special Gift the other day...
It came in an elegant white box..

Yes, I have finally come out of the Dark Ages, and have my first iPhone!
I never thought I'd fall in love, with an electronic gadget - of any kind...

But of course, I became addicted in one day, and am on a  very steep learning curve.
Downloaded my first App today: Tiffany & Co.  

While investigating the beguiling possibilities of having the Internet in my hand or handbag at all times, I have spent the past four days listening in to ABC Classic FM radio's CLASSIC 100 MUSIC IN THE MOVIES countdown, the results of a recent poll.

As a confirmed Romantic, I rather fancied Lara's Theme from Doctor Zhivago to win - I have had this sheet music since I was a girl...
But no, it came in at No.5.

ET came in second last, at 99 - surprised, I rather liked that score.

Here are the final ten:

10 - Schindler's List (1993)
9 - The Piano (1993)
8 - Out of Africa (1985)
7 - The King's Speech (2010) (Beethoven Piano Concerto No 5)
6 - Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
5 - Doctor Zhivago (1965)
4 - Chariots of Fire (1981)
3 - The Lord of the Rings (2001)
2 - Star Wars Films
1 - The Mission (1986)

Some surprises right throughout, but we enjoyed the fun of it, and the guessing games.  While I like the music from The Mission, I was surprised it won.  A certain little grandson in Canada would love to know Star Wars themes did so well - he sings Darth Vader's theme all day long!

Speaking of small boys, did you see the Google header today - just for Maurice Sendak's 85th birthday.  All the Wild Things had a party!
 I loved it...

I've been out having cake and laughter, and doing a few stitches of embroidery, at my friend J's.  That rhubarb cake was Superb...

Princess Madeleine of Sweden was married this week.
Definitely a day for tiara watching, and lovely pastel gowns.
Here is her sister, Crown Princess Victoria:

Somebody is going to be a lovely Queen one day ..

Have a delightful week


Friday, June 7, 2013


Hi there,
These lovely pots were made by the Hermannsburg women potters, from Central Australia.
They are part of an exhibition of contemporary indigenous art:
 My Country: I still call Australia Home, which opened the other day.

This pot features lorikeet images.
Our lorikeets have not forgiven us for going away for a month,
rarely come to the bird-feeder, and are startled and fly off when I appear.

Did you know kookaburras catch and eat snakes?
Just saying....

So how did the Garden of Neglect fare during our absence, you may ask?
Well, this old toughie, the crucifix orchid, carried on as usual.

but my little cottage garden had disintegrated into a tangled mess..

herbs were nearly all dead...

and 'somebody' had made quite a mess, overturning pots and destroying seedlings ...

You know who you are, Mr legally protected native species Wild Bush Turkey!!!

A quick visit to the local plant nursery,

a day working in the garden,

and things are starting to improve.

Happy 60 year Coronation Anniversary to Her Majesty

I thought the Queen looked lovely in her white brocade, with just a hint of delicate blue flowers and that huge Aquamarine!
So sad that Prince Philip is in hospital at this special time..

Kate looked great, too:

and I liked Camilla's minty green outfit..

also with a lovely big aquamarine, apparently the gem of the day..

Enjoy your Queen's birthday holiday weekend, Australia!
What are your plans? We'll be back in the garden, and taking my Dad out for lunch in the country - somewhere....