Thursday, August 21, 2014


Sometimes we feel we live in a zoo here at the Red Cardinal nest...

I took this photo in 2012 when a bold sulphur crested cockatoo was eating my carefully nurtured pink petunias.

I wouldn't mind so much if they actually wanted to eat the flowers, but no, it is simply destruction on a grand scale, for their own amusement.

This is what I found on the deck yesterday:

Pink petunias scarred about, on the table and over the floor.
The guilty culprit was no-where to be seen,
but I know who you are, naughty cocky...

What with cockatoos, the bandicoots, and the possum which is regularly eating the parsley as fast as it grows, I do wonder if we are the caged ones, and they are out there having a laugh at our expense...

Whatever will we find when we come back from holidays?

This week we are looking at our suitcases.
Times change, and over the years since we began international travel, luggage has lightened in weight while airlines tighten their rules and requirements.

My ten-years-old, and favourite, cabin bag weighs over 5 kgs empty...
Alas, it is no longer suitable, unless as a check-in, because often a 7kg limit is all that is allowed as hand luggage.

Packing my broomstick to wing it away across the world, 
I must remember that we are using three different airlines, and to fit in with all of them.  Of course, the lightest weight limit is the one we'll have to stick with all the way: 23kg, in one only check-in bag plus one only cabin bag, total weight not exceeding 12kg.  To achieve this, the purse must go inside the pull-along, along with any and everything else I want en route.

If nothing else, it is good discipline for the long-distance trains of Italy, when, it seems, we'll have to leap on the train in a single bound, during its one-minute stop at the station.  
(Or was the travel agent having a little joke?)
Will we make it from Venice to Padua, complete with baggage?

I found this inspirational picture on the Advanced Style blog, and immediately thought it would be the perfect one-only dress for travel.

I began with a Style Arc pattern the Meg raglan tee, first making it in a navy cotton knit, and deciding I like the fit.

I moved on to a nice back jersey, lengthened it by 20",
 and am really pleased with the result. 
Of course, a photo does not show it very well, but you get the idea.
The yellow earrings could make an occasional appearance to liven it up, but I think this dress will work for day or night, and warm or cooler weather.

I bought these Naot sandals for the hot spots, like Hong Kong or Dubai,
but looking at current Paris temperatures, it appears much cooler than the 'hot weather' I have been told to expect.

Also made this pink shell top, Tamara by Style Arc:

(yes, left off the sleeves)
which will work with these cool palazzo pants:

And possibly with a black blazer over it all if the weather is cool.

You all know that I love colour, but whenever I travel I find myself with a compact wardrobe of neutrals:

Pants:  2 black, 1 navy jeans
Tees: 2 black, 1 navy, b/w stripe
Skirt:  1 b/w stripe
Dress: 1 black
Shirts: White linen, black cotton, b/w spots, 
Sweaters: 1 white cardigan
1 navy jumper
Jackets:  black blazer

This looks altogether too neutral, so I'm throwing in:

the yellow jacket I bought in 2013 to take to Canada,

and might take these scarves and a pink bag:

The buzz word for travel packing these days is always 'Layering'..
but really, you still need to think about expected temperatures, which is tricky at change of season.
Layering in a Canadian winter with thermals, shirts, jumpers, under the heaviest coat, is a big contrast to the light layers of a Queensland summer.

Watching the temps in Paris over the past week, I'm thinking my light cardigan might be insufficient on a cool rainy night, so I'm adding this:

Faux leather jacket, Canada, 2011..

Gustave Caillebotte 'Paris Street, Rainy Day', 1877
I can dream that I am here...



  1. Vivienne's Files would congratulate you on your travel ensembles. Style and comfort combined.

  2. This time last year we were heading off to Italy and the temperatures were just right, not too hot, not too cold, but you are used to warmer than us, so you might want a few warmer things to throw over the top so that you can warm up/cool down as needed. Right now here in England it is cooler than we would normally expect for the time of year, so I imagine that Paris is the same, so the same would also apply about layers. I hope that you have a great time whatever the weather, and I am sure that both Italy and Paris will have some good clothes shopping if you need to add a layer or two! xx

  3. Well - most of that was way outside my comfort zone; but have a great holiday!

  4. The new, downgraded weight restrictions make packing for travel a challenge. I have a friend who buys clothes at a charity shop for her trip, then discards them as she goes along and purchases souvenirs (she's a knitter like me, and the souvenirs are usually yarn!). I'm sure one of these days she's going to end up flying home stark naked.

    Your dress and shirt are perfect. The faux leather jacket is nice as well, but I'm wondering if it is a bit heavy? Maybe the faux leather is lighter than actual leather. ?? You must be getting very excited now that you are to the serious packing stage!

  5. You have assembled a very nice wardrobe and I'm sure it will serve you well in any situation. So impressed with the black dress and pink tee you sewed yourself! Back in the days when I traveled abroad I also discarded clothing items as I went along to lighten my load. And bought a few pieces along the way as well I know you must be getting quite excited about your forthcoming travels.

  6. Hi Patricia...
    packing is a pain..too much...too little...especially when flying!
    You look like you have made a few good choices...
    Whatever you will look fab...and have a grand time!
    Cheers! My friend..
    Linda :o)

  7. You are so organised with your packing plans, Patricia, and I'm sure your selection will serve you well. I do like the latest things you've made for yourself and you should have something for just about every occasion in your carefully packed 23kg. :)

  8. Have a great great holiday. You'll look stunning in your new gear! x

  9. Yes take your jacket, my daughter said they have rain most days......
    Your wardrobe looks amazing - you are so clever at knowing what will work - it's a gift.
    I thought I might have missed you Patricia - excitement must be at fever pitch now (it would be for me)!!!
    Give my love to France and Italy - I miss them both!

  10. Planning a trip, deciding where to go, what you wish to see and what to do during it, involves planning on what to take along with you.
    I bet the planning and deciding leading to the actual packing is an important part of the trip.
    You have had time to do the planning and gathered a nice wardrobe.
    It must have been challenging, as your destination is so far away, a different climate, different time zone.
    I´m sure you have chosen wisely.
    I myself have noticed that I tend to wear pretty much the same clothes on throughout the day. Clothes, which feel comfortable on. Same applies to the tourists I see here.
    Oh, how I admire your handwork skills!
    You have had a lot of time on the planning part since you had to delay

  11. I'm sure you've packed your bags perfectly. I think your chosen items are going to look and feel great while you travel.

  12. I'm so happy you are finally getting your trip! My daughter is in Lyon and just before she left, I handed her my light travel rain jacket. At least once a week she thanks me for talking her into taking it.

  13. We caught the train from Padua to Venice - I can't remember too many problems, other than the usual sort of train antics in Italy. I love both Venice and Padua.

    Your new dress is lovely, should do everything as you are planning :)

  14. When we went to Paris I cut down the clothes to a minimum and it was very liberating, so often I take things that remain in the case unworn - the difficulty is the unknown - the weather!
    Looking forward to all your thoughts and photos when you return - I am not sure when you are off, but have a wonderful trip.

  15. Finally packing! Have a great trip! May I put in my traveller's 2c worth? Pack what you would wear in your home town for changeable weather, plus that great black dress. Take less not more. There are clothing shops in Europe ;)

  16. Thank you everyone. Managed to pack clothes and everything I need for a month, in 16kg check-in and 7kg cabin pullalong! And that is heavy enough to drag onto the trains.
    Will do my best to have the best holiday ever! xxx

  17. What fun to be planning your wardrobe. Everything you've shown looks lovely; I particularly like the palazzo pants. I would think a black tee and the yellow jacket would go with them too! Unless the fabrics are all wrong. It's very cool here at the moment, so don't forget to bring a woolly or two just in case! Still, in Europe it can easily warm up quickly again, so we'll keep fingers crossed for you!

  18. My parents house has a flock of very naughty cockies too! They pull on the cane mat, chew the railings and peck the plants all for fun!!

    Your sewing projects are wonderful, the black dress will be a work house on your trip I'm sure. Don't forget to pack a necklace :)


  19. The black dress is so classic, I'll bet you look stunning in it. I like your wardrobe choices. I'd need some good walking shoes though. Those can be hard to find in a style that goes with a dress.


  20. Hello Patricia,

    Whatever the trials and tribulations of the packing, this will surely be the adventure of a lifetime. What fun you are going to have and the yellow jacket with the black dress look to be absolute winners. How clever of you to be able to make a dress perfect for so many occasions and to fit like a dream no doubt. It looks as if it can be the answer for so many occasions, it will be like having a best friend with you!

    Safe travelling and enjoy!

  21. Patricia,
    Oh, I loved your post today because it is about FASHION, one of my favorite things! That black dress with the red bag is so classy and elegant, wow! The yellow jacket is also pretty, and what a cool leather jacket. We must have our leather jackets, that's for sure. I still have the same one I've had for so many years; they never go out of style. How fun planning your wardrobe, in anticipation of a lovely trip.

    That white cockatoo is so special. I think I'd stare at it for a long time if it came around my neck of the woods.


  22. As I sat on a pouch in Kentucky this past July (I went to visit friends), a beautiful red cardinal landed nearby, and I thought my blogging friend, Patricia should have been there also to see it.