Monday, September 21, 2015


Thank you all for your lovely comments on my previous post.  I really appreciate you kind thoughts and good wishes.  
Yes, I've been Missing in Action for a couple of weeks...
the dreadful lurgy which has overcome half the population of Australia has made its mark - I am still bone weary much of the time!

This flu is so rampant, it is becoming fashionable.

I have good days, followed by bad (exhausted) days.
On a good day, I spent one hour making two cushions:

Then I had a good lie down...

Despite doctor's orders, you can't go on cancelling out of things forever,
so we took my father (almost 95) to look at a plant nursery:

He really enjoyed it..

and the coffee and cake at the little cafe, too.

I told him he will be 95 in a few weeks, and he shook his head and said
"It's hard to believe it".
Next thing you know we'll be planning his 100th!

It rained for 24 hours last week, after months of dry.
It was cold too, so chocolate was mandatory.

This lorikeet looked so miserable -
he'd probably never seen rain before in his life...

 I decided to try this pattern, about 2 months ago.
I used a fine pink cotton lawn, with gray flaps and cuffs, and black jersey for the collar stand and front tab.  

I really struggled with this.  Despite making a toile, I think every bit of it was unpicked at least once, and nothing seemed to fit properly.
Put it on to take a 'finished' photo, and decided the sleeves were too full.
Maybe a kimono style sleeve, with a cuff, is a bad idea.

Sewing to relax is good therapy, but not when things go awry...

I need to sew something Really Simple, to unwind, before I tackle the sleeves again.

I never met a succulent I didn't love for the garden -
and then I found cactus love in fabric...and this will become a cool summer dress.

I amused myself stitching a little cactus on the vintage denim jacket which lovely D gave to me...

Have we been playing too much cowboy Lego, do you think?

Stay well...


Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Hello, and welcome to Spring in the topics..

Like 99% of the population of Brisbane, I have been struck down by the seasonal lurgy: the virus which wasn't included in our Flu jab this year.
Why, Oh Why, Department of Health???

My doctor said to cancel all commitments, sleep as much as possible, and stay home for about two weeks.  Am attempting to do as I am told...

All this time at home, and I feel too wretched to do anything productive..

like gardening...

It was Father's Day last Sunday:

I gave Mr C a new shirt, lavender stripes, for being the best Dad ever..

and a Tree Fern, to go in this section of garden which needs help.  
Lots of help.

Fingers crossed it will grow like this one which stands sentinal over my clothes-line..

And tomorrow, September 9, Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest-serving British monarch, passing the record set by Queen Victoria:
63 years and 217 days.

So young and fresh back then..

and enjoying life at the Highland Games in Scotland this week.

Her red hat is beautiful.

There is a suggestion going around that the Queen is about to present her Royal Order to the Duchess of Cambridge.
This consists of a portrait of the sovereign surrounded by diamonds, and each King or Queen uses a different colour ribbon.  The Queen chose yellow.
The Queen presents the order to women who are working members of the Royal Family.  Diana was give hers early in her marriage to Prince Charles.
It is worn on formal, tiara wearing, occasions.

Diana worked hard, and a lot was expected of her at a very young age.
Here she wears the order when she came here to Brisbane in 1983.
This was the evening of the day when we saw her in person, at City Hall.  I was struck by how slender she was at the time.  It was the trip when they brought baby Prince William to Australia.

Stay warm.  Don't get the flu.

And have a good week.


Thursday, September 3, 2015


In Melbourne, we stayed in the 
Blackman Arts Hotel, St. Kilda Road.
This is the view, out over Port Philip Bay.

The hotel is themed around the art of Australian artist 
Charles Blackman (b. 1928).  
His works are digitally reproduced on both the exterior and inside the hotel.  

It was fun...

Blackman is particularly known for his series of paintings inspired by 
Alice in Wonderland..  

The glass door to our bathroom..

Rabbits loomed everywhere...

Charles Blackman: 'The Blue Alice', 1956, Qld. Art Gallery.  

Gratuitous shot of a Melbourne tram.
We haven't had those in Brisbane since 1969..

Federation Square, where the Ian Potter Centre houses the Australian Collection of the NGV.

I will show you some of this collection over a few posts, but today will look at two contrasting, yet oddly similar, paintings about City life:

John Brack 'Collins St, 5p.m.'  1955.
An iconic Australian painting, Collins St., 5pm, is a view of the rush hour in post-war Melbourne.
Inspired by T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland, John Brack (1920-99) observed the crowds of workers on busy Collins Street, in this comment on the conformity of everyday life.  The figures look almost identical, faces etched with weariness as they trudge to the trains and trams which will take them home to the suburbs.
Brack's style evolved into one of simplified, stark shapes and drab colour, a bleak palette of browns and greys.
He is regarded as the quintessential Melbourne artist.

Grace Cossington Smith, 'Crowd' c. 1922, Sydney
Sydney artist Grace Cossington Smith (1892-1984), is best known and loved for her vibrant, impressionist-style interiors, but thirty years before Brack, she also tackled the subject of crowded city streets.
This is Sydney in 1922, post World War I, and the street is unidentified.  
The density of the crowd, with faces blurred and indistinct, and the dull colours, gives a sense of claustophobia in the dim afternoon light.  Times were tough after the Great War, and we can feel it in this painting.

Seen any white rabbits lately?


'Lure of the Sun: Charles Blackman in Queensland' will be on at QAG from 7 November 2015 to 31 January 2016.