Sunday, August 9, 2015


Winter in Australia is the season for the Golden Wattle, Australia's National Flower.  I spotted this bush covered with little fluffy blossoms on my daily walk.
Lately, I have also encountered many pairs of wild bush ducks by the creek.
They are shy, and walk away from me and my camera...

I had to ask Mr Google for a picture to show you what they really look like:

and with the arrival of Spring, soon there will be lots of...

baby ducks.... taking chances on the roads, marching in a line round the park, and swimming in the creek..

My Canadian decoy duck, just because.

Mavis Ngallametta, 'Wutun #2,' 2014.
Indigenous Australian artist Mavis Ngallametta, lives and works in Aurukun, on the western side of Cape York, in North Queensland.  
Here she paints the country of her adopted son Edgar, the area just inside the mouth of the Archer River, close to the sea.  They come by boat to camp and go fishing here, teaching the traditional ways to the grandchildren.
This huge work is painted with natural pigments and charcoal with an acrylic binder on canvas.  Ngallametta collects the white clay she uses in her paintings at this special site.
What I love about this work is the wonderful way she uses indigenous painting motifs, clouds of dots and weaving lines, in a European perspective of the landscape: sea in the foreground, beach and land further back.
But best of all, and I didn't even notice this until the second time I viewed it, there are ducks:

In fact, there are lots and lots of little ducks, black ducks and white ducks, concealed in the waves, swimming about and having a wonderful time.

Teho Ropeyarn 'Utku an Alarrakudhi - Anbachama Ikya (Emu and Brolga - beforetime story)' 2014
Another bird picture and another indigenous artist from the Cape York Peninsula, Teho Ropeyarn.
This large linocut print depicts a traditional story about Emu and Brolga, two Australian native birds.  The multi-panel installation features different scenes from the story of jealousy and treachery, connected through a meandering yam vine which is part of the narrative.  
Teho Ropeyard is from the community of Injinoo in the north of Cape York, and currently lives and practices in Cairns.  As permitted by his elders, he recreates stories in a contemporary form, using rhythm, patterns and imagery not typical of the art of his people, but re-telling the stories in new and imaginative detail.
It is a stunning piece of art.

Both these works are currently on display at the exhibition 'GomaQ, Contemporary Queensland Art'.

Regular readers know that I love to sew, but until I began to read sewing blogs, my practice has always been to buy fabric only with a particular project in mind.  Well, those days are gone.  I have now learnt that fabric can be bought, and stored for the future, and this is called 'stash building'..
I suspect it could also be called hoarding, but that's another story..
Things have been rather busy in the Cardinal nest of late, and while very little sewing has taken place, a little stashing for summer has been going on.
My delicate blue flamingo georgette arrived from Darn Cheap Fabrics, a handy Australia fabric site, and the grey floral rayon is from Spotlight.

Then there is the stone stretch bengaline from Style Arc, and mocha jersey from Darn Cheap Fabrics.  
Let's hope I find some time to start a bit of Summer Sewing -

We took my father out for his Sunday drive today.  He was good, ate all his lunch, loved the coffee, and enjoyed the view.  We stopped at a couple of farm stalls, getting a big pumpkin, and two huge avocados.  
They were Darn Cheap too.

Have a great week.



  1. Love that Golden Wattle which does not grow here, too cold. In February we can buy little bunches of them in the flowershops. So nice you show us beautiful art and the fabrics are pretty, I really like the blue flamingo georgette. In the past when I was sewing a lot I did some stash building too, but nowadays I'm more of a hoarder (haha), because I still love buying fabrics with nice patterns, but my hands almost cannot handle a needle anymore so I get too many fabrics.
    Wish you a nice new week!

    1. That sounds so sweet, little bunches of wattle in flowershops! We have to pick it for ourselves... The blue flamingo is my favourite too, and I suspect it won't be long before I can't resist making it up. Even have blue pants already which will match. That is so sad your fingers can no longer hold the needle (arthritis?) - my thumbs have now started to hurt on cold mornings, so this could be my future too. But once your love fabric you always will - carry on buying it, because it is lovely!

  2. Looks as though ducks have been on your mind a lot lately! I love the paintings by the lady artist, they have a great feeling to them don't they. Even better in person I imagine. Love your flamingo fabrics! I have a stash of fabric and really must do something with it otherwise it is effectively a hoard as you say isn't it. My yarn isn't so bad because I do dig around in there and use it, but the fabric just sits! Must have a stern word with myself!! Enjoy using your fabrics won't you, and seeing the wattle flowering too! xx

    1. It is strange how sometimes the same thing keeps popping up, isn't it, Amy. Yes, the painting has a lot of texture in reality, so the little ducks really appear to be jumping around in the water. Yes, the flamingo fabric is great! First off the list in Springtime, that one. I love that you stash fabric too - all the best people do! My collection of silks and yarns is, of course, not a hoard, just something it takes a long time to get around to using (she says, innocently, he he ) xx

  3. The artwork is beautiful! And yes, I think a lot of us have the Internet to blame for learning all about stash. As for your Australian national flower, I have to admit it seems rather odd to this Canadian that a country could have a national flower that blooms in the winter. Or, for that matter, any flower that blooms in the winter! :-)

    1. Love blaming the Internet, don't you? It can't answer back or try to explain itself :) I never thought about flowers in winter being strange, of course here that is when we get the best display. Summer is another matter - after six months of desperate heat, I can go round the garden and not find a single bloom, just a lot of dead stuff! Viva la (le?) Difference, Kristie. Have a lovely week.

  4. Love the look of that 'beforetime story'.

  5. I like you Trish love to see our gorgeous wattle come into bloom. Loved your all things ducky! Some beautiful works of art there. It is always lovely to encounter your stash builders xx

    1. I'm sure you are also enjoying the wattle these days Michelle. Must start working my way through the stash this week....xx

  6. Winter is such a pretty time of the year in Brisbane, Tricia. I love your ducks!

    One of my Facebook friends who moved to Los Angeles had a mother and newly hatched ducklings suddenly apear one day and take over her swimming pool. It was quite the adventure. Two male ducks started showing up, and the houseowner had to shoo them away so the males wouldn't hurt the babies. The "hosts" couldn't use their swimming pool during this time of occupancy because of the duck drippings. After about 8 weeks, the babies learned to fly and now that the summer is over, the homeowners have their pool back to themselves. They began the experience rather alarmed, but now I sense from their updates that they have empty nest syndrome. :)

    How much more beautiful to have the ducks in nature.

    Lovely duck motifs!

    1. What a lovely story about ducks, Debra. When we uncover our pool for the summer, I am planning to put my large decoy duck from Canada in there, although family have suggested it might attract the local duck population. It would be a mixed blessing, wouldn't it. Mr C would not enjoy keeping the pool clean, but what fun to have a little duckie family move in!

  7. I always enjoy seeing the indigenous artists work that you share with us. Those little ducks in the waves are priceless.

    Looks like your sewing stash is piling up and ready to go. I try not to buy warn for my knitting stash but it is hard to resist sometimes. My weekly knitting group meets in a yarn shop so temptation is always there.


    1. I'm glad you like the little ducks too, Darla, yes, priceless!
      Ah, I know the temptations of group meetings in shops, very tempting. I used to go to embroidery class in a beautiful shop. It was temptation every time :)

  8. I like your fabrics especially the prints and hope you sew something soon! BTW I went fabric shopping in Paris a couple of days ago and only bought two pieces of fabric but both are exactly what I wanted. My aim was 'quality over quantity' and I showed remarkable restraint! BTW I've been internet-less for a week due to a mix up with adaptors but I will blog a bit about my travels soon. Val.

    1. Thanks Val, maybe I will sew over the weekend. Wow, you are fabric shopping in Paris! Can't wait to see your pieces, and find out your place of purchase. I didn't see any fabric shops in Paris last year :( Internet-less is so frustrating: it really has become part of our daily lives. Have fun little traveller :)

  9. I can't believe it's winter there, Patricia, as we are soaking in the heat during our summer months. The ducks are so sweet. They are spotted and look different from the ducks around here. Jess would love that blue flamingo fabric. She loves flamingos! Do you know what you are going to make with that?

    Enjoy your winter days. I could should use some cool right now.

    love, ~Sheri

  10. Hello Sheri - it seems we both have seen ducks lately, different kinds for different continents! Can't wait to make the blue flamingo fabric. I plan to do a tunic top and have downloaded a pattern. I will make a toile first to check before I cut into my pretty fabric. Our cool weather won't last much longer, and then it will fly over to you :) xx