Friday, May 30, 2014


Our snow bush, this week, as we hope to see some Winter (officially 1st June).
After a cold blast for a few days about a month ago, Autumn disappeared and Summer revisited.

I enjoy the fresh air in the cooler months, and I am dreaming of some real snow, and the wearing of warm caps, scarves and gloves:

Snow when we visited Ottawa in January, 2010...

This is the frozen Rideau canal, at the point where it joins the Ottawa River.
The Canadian Houses of Parliament are on the hill to the left.

Now, you can see why I want it to turn cold.
The lovely Val, of Valerie's Own Sewing Blog, sent me this fantastic vintage Vogue pattern for a cosy car coat - who remembers them?
I found a great faux fur leopard at Spotlight, and am about to embark on the Great Fur Coat Sewing Adventure.  
Wish me luck...

For those who are sewists, Val's blog is full of clever ideas and information, and recently I was the lucky winner of one of her regular giveaways:

Thank you dear Val, and I am looking forward to more creative sewing with these two.

This week I bought the newly released Australian Notebooks, by Australia's much-loved Betty Churcher. 
This book is an absolute joy to read and cherish, and Betty's warm and lovely personality shines from every page.
Betty Churcher is a former director of the National Gallery of Australia, has written numerous books on various aspects of art, and presented several successful television art programs.
She grew up in Brisbane, became a painter, won a scholarship to Europe, was a graduate of the Royal College of Art in London, and a Master of Arts from the Courtauld Institute.

Now in her twilight years, Betty says this is her last book.
In it, she revisits her favourite works in the major State galleries of Australia, beginning with our own Qld. Art Gallery, which she regularly visited as a small child.  

She loved Blandford Fletcher's 'Evicted' 1887, and always asked her parents to take her to see it.  She writes with great affection and insight about this, and several other popular works at the gallery, and for me, as a gallery guide, the book is a wonderful resource, full of information showing how to encourage a love of the visual arts in the audience.

When I'm not rabbiting on about art, I am off singing.
It being Friday, I have been to choir rehearsal ....

"How can I keep from Singing?"
I love that we sing this nearly every week, and I'll tell you a secret:
whenever I go under a general anaesthetic for surgery, I sing it in my head...

Have a very special weekend


Monday, May 26, 2014


It's no secret that I love to sew, and love a challenge:

When Style Arc produced a dress pattern bearing a close resemblance to this famous dress:

who was I to resist?

A piece of navy linen from the stash, add a small white leftover, and Voila!

I know, it is almost Winter, and this is a Summer dress...
but nature is helping out here, as we are having another mini heat wave -
expected to break all known records for May this week, with forecast maximums of 27/28 deg C.  
As Mr C. and I like to say 'It's the end of Civilisation as we know it!!'

Climate variations have become strange indeed.

Undeterred by this climactic turn of events, I gave the old navy lace dress another outing to a symphony concert, in company with my new screamingly bright yellow pom pom pashmina.  
They enjoyed 'Poet of the Guitar' almost as much as the Cardinals.

The 'poet' was the extraordinary German-born Australian classical guitarist Karin Schaupp [b.1972].  Based in Brisbane, Schaupp and her family migrated to Australia when she was aged eight.  Taught by her mother Isolde Schaupp, she was winning international competitions in her teens, and, at 18,  performed Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra.  To our delight, she performed it this week with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.  Wonderful!

Karin Schaupp tours extensively in many countries, has made many recordings, and had several guitar concertos written especially for her.

Coles have Granny Smith apples on special.
Apple crumble, anyone?

The brown shaded area, in the north-west desert of South Australia, known as the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjajara (A.P.Y.) lands, is the traditional tribal homeland of the Pitjantjatjara people of the Central Australian desert.

About 4,000 people live in scattered settlements, including the Amata Community (above), the location of Tjala Arts, a leader in the contemporary Western Desert painting movement.
The artists, mostly women, produce the most vibrant, joyous, exuberant abstract imagery, adapted from their traditional symbols and concepts:

PUNU, 2011, Ruby Tjangawa Williamson and Wawiriya Burton 
In Punu, Williamson and Burton depict two trees - ultukumpu and kalingkalingpa - from the country where they were born near Irrunytju community in Western Australia.  This is their first collaboration.

Seven sisters and Tjala Tjukurpa (Honey Ant Dreaming) 2012, Paniny Mick and her daughters.
 Much of the painting is trans-generational collaboration, with grandmothers, their daughters and grandchildren, working together as traditional knowledge is passed on to the younger generation.
In Honey Ant Dreaming, Paniny Mick and her daughters depict two important stories.  Tjala Tjukurpa tells of the ancestral honey ant whose tracks wind through the Amata valley, and the Seven Sisters Dreaming refers to the constellations Pleiades and Orion.  The sisters are Pleiades and Orion is Nyiru, a man who lusts after the sisters and is forever chasing them. 

Mingkiri Tjukurpa (Mice Dreaming) 2011; Wawiriya Burton, Angela Burton, Maureen Douglas.
Wawiriya Burton (b.1925), a traditional healer and senior woman of Anangu law and culture, has painted a story about small female mice found in the desert.  The mice are pregnant, and after giving birth to many babies they must search for food and water to feed the young.  The dotted lines are mouse tracks in the sand.

Ngayuku ngura (My country) Puli murpu (Mountain range) 2012;  Ruby Tjangawa Williamson, her daughter Nita, and grandaughter Suzanne Armstrong.
Williamson, her daughter and granddaughter, have painted their mountain country near Amata where women engage in ceremonial business.  Different colours and designs represent variations in the landscape.

This large and brilliantly coloured painting is my favourite of the series of seven works commissioned by GOMA from the Tjala women artists.  
The paintings are currently on display as part of an exhibition entitled 
Terrain: Indigenous Australian objects and representations.  

 Go see it!

 In other artistic news, our grandson in Canada made this colourful collage as a Mother's Day gift for our dear daughter... 
To our eyes, it is perfection :-)

Have a great week

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


All those lovely commenters who told me to take care -
oops, I overdid it last week, and rather went backwards for a few days...

It was probably a bit soon, but I had the opportunity to go to the theatre...
remember Deborah Kerr and Yul Brunner dancing up a storm in 
The King and I, back in 1956?

The stage version is currently playing in Brisbane, with Lisa McCune as Anna and opera star Teddy Tahoe Rhodes as the King of Siam.

Lots of gorgeous colour and sparkle, and all those lovely old songs.
For me the highlight was Shu-Cheen Yu as Lady Thiang, the senior wife of the king, singing Something Wonderful: exquisitely...

I bought a yellow orchid - just because..

Been working on the crotcheting, and completed nine squares:

Haven't joined them yet, but decided to make one enormous square as a rug:

I wonder how many colours I can use and how large I can make this?

It is nice and cold now in the morning, and the teapot needs a cosy cover,

 my pansies are already flowering,

and Little Aussie came to visit!

He sang the Happiness Song for us, strumming our old ukulele with the enthusiasm of any four year old boy..

We are all still in love with 1980s space Lego...

and I finally got him away from doing waterhole cakes, by trying a green field of dinosaurs.  
I let him do it all by himself...

I made chicken pies tonight, because it is nearly Winter -
even if the maximum temperature today was, ahem, 25 degrees!

Our youngest son turns 35 tomorrow -
where have all those years gone?
I still think of him as the baby...

We are so proud of all our children, who have made happy and successful lives for themselves.  It is definitely one of life's greatest rewards.

Keep safe and well, 


Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Hello, yes, I'm still in the land of the living, just been taking it easy for a week or so.

We have celebrated Mother's Day here in Australia -
note the little white posy Mr C brought home from church.
And the pot of chrysanthemums he gave me...
(there was a pink one too)

Sunday morning brought more delights -
the Perfect Skype with our dear daughter in Ottawa
Her two little boys entertained us with various renditions of Twinkle Twinkle.
 The Little Bebe said his word for us:  'Mama', and gave us an adorable smile.

Then we flew over to our younger son's place, where he produced waffles on his new waffle iron...

followed by this perfect example of Eggs Benedict.
(He certainly did not learn to cook so well from his Mum)
Isn't it wonderful when your children grow up to become accomplished and pleasant adults?

Our daughter sent this pretty card with a fashion theme,
cute blue bird napkin holder,
and a make-up bag with my initial.
She is very good at choosing gifts I love.

Thank you all so much for your lovely and supportive comments on my last post, following my recent trip to hospital.
I am feeling much better now, and regaining my strength and fitness.
Back on the pleasant daily walk routine, where I found these trails of bougainvillia this morning.

Mr C and I have been for coffee at the Wild Canary, a great new cafe recently opened in a plant nursery in our area.
With a bird-name like that, they can't go far wrong.
The food is mouth-watering - so good that I forgot to take picture!

There is a large kitchen garden adjacent to the cafe, and we saw a chef go out to harvest herbs - fresh to the plate...

The area is semi-rural, and has a lovely relaxed country feeling..

Love all the garden ornaments for sale, but they are mighty expensive.
I suspect they want to keep them all for themselves!

Off to the Art Gallery this week...

Keep warm