Sunday, April 30, 2023



Greetings from the Red Cardinal nest.

Our trip to Canada is nigh, and it has been all go around here as we try to remember how to do international travel and long-haul, 14 hour flights.

The pandemic has changed the world in so many ways.  

We need a travel app, and to not have flat phone batteries.

We need special masks for the plane, and details of our immunisations (both on paper and in our phones).

It has been four years since we travelled, four long years during which we have done a lot of isolating, and very little socialising.

And, to date, we have dodged the dreaded Covid 19 which at our age is definitely best avoided.

I have downloaded several books onto my Kindle.

That will take care of a few hours on the two flights as we travel to Ottawa.

I am taking my embroidery, my camera, and a travel journal plus a tiny watercolour paint set and drawing pencils to record our travels.

I am attempting to embroider a homage to Gustav Klimt's 'Garden Path with Chickens'... I have had that chicken button for years...

A lot of stitchery lies ahead here....

I planted this lovely little shrub about ten years ago, and it flowered for the first time recently.  They are beautiful large bracts of blue flowers, and I now do not recall the name of the plant.  
Well, welcome to the Garden of Neglect.

On the serious matter of a compact wardrobe which spans the cool weather, gradually warming through Spring in a place much cooler than our sub-tropical Brisbane:

My old heavy navy wool coat, plus a new fine wool pashmina scarf, as well as a navy puffer jacket.

 I added in a new light-weight shirt from Adrift, a local designer.

Then made a navy Liberty-style shirt, fabric from the much-loved fabric store Skaffs of Indooroopilly.  Sadly, like many others, they are closing down in the near future:

It does not photograph very well, but it is the popular Olya shirt from Paper Theory patterns which has been around for a few seasons.
There are concealed pockets at the front - I pulled out the opening on the left so you could see how the pocket bag is on the inside.
This is the fourth time I have made this, as it is very comfortable and good for travel.

Otherwise, I just take black and navy ponte pants, Levi jeans, a few stretch tops, two sweaters, black and pink, and a Summer dress hoping for a bright Spring day.

Everything was going along nicely until last week when my spectacles snapped in half.  Panic!  The Optician was unsure if they could be mended so they were sent off for repair and it seemed prudent to order new ones, urgently.

No doubt heavily influenced by my uncomplicated travel palette, I ordered pink frames, and a rush order came back on Friday, all fitted out with my multi-focal lenses. 

Never travel without spare glasses.
Fortunately, the black ones were able to be fixed so I have them in rotation too.

This is Coronation week..

Will you be watching the ceremony?

Take care


Monday, April 10, 2023




I hope everyone enjoyed the Easter break...

We certainly did..

By happy coincidence, the Easter holiday coincided with the first birthday of our much-loved only granddaughter..

I made a little patchwork quilt for the small dolly we gave her.

She is a sweet child, and seems to like the doll, as well as the Easter chicken we gave her on Sunday...

We enjoyed her beautiful birthday party, with exquisite decor done by my clever daughter-in-law.

Baby partied with her three brothers and assorted family and friends, having a fine time.

It brought back memories of our only little girl, now a mother of two healthy boys.  The birthday girl resembles her aunt sometimes in her expression, and it is a special thing to see.

On Easter Sunday morning, I decided to wear this linen dress to church.  I made it about five years ago, and think the colours look a bit like a sunrise.  I added a vintage yellow brooch, for another hint of sunshine...

It was wonderful to sing with a full choir on this special day..

In case you have missed it, I thought I'd show you a picture of the Coronation invitation - no, we did not receive one, lol.

To a bird and garden lover, it is very attractive, with blooms of significance for the United Kingdom:  Roses for England, thistles for Scotland, daffodils for Wales and shamrocks for Ireland.

King Charles and Queen Camilla were pictured going to church at Windsor Castle.

Camilla seems to like blue, and I think it suits her.  The little blue hat is cute and very Spring-like.

Also in blue, the Princess of Wales and in fact, the whole family.

I love cobalt blue, and hope it is coming back for another run.

I think I still have an old jumper in this colour... 


I have continued gathering together everything we need for our upcoming trip to Canada, but finding time for my latest slow-stitching project.  

For the unfamiliar, this is an embroidered and collaged fabric scroll, designed to be rolled around an antique spool.  Born of the pandemic, when we all spent time at home, it is relaxing and creative, and I find it the perfect way to dig out all the bits and bobs in my sewing room which I have collected over many years.  No piece of old embroidery, lace or ribbon, or scrap of linen, is safe around here.  They are highly likely to end up in a flower garden.

When I want a little deer or rabbit, I paint a tiny watercolour on calico and stitch it in.

The project is inspired by two sisters who make online tutorials to follow on U-tube on a fortnightly basis.  The one I am doing is called 'Down the Garden Path', and can be found on Roxy's Journal of Stitchery Vol. 3.  It goes for six months and I am now half way through.

The prompts are simply ideas like 'wildflowers', 'vegetables', 'gate', 'shed', or 'bench'.  Other than that, it is entirely one's own creation, which I really enjoy.

Many people are posting their efforts on Facebook, and I love going through them to see the creative embroidery from all over the world.

Have a great week


Saturday, April 8, 2023



Andrea Mantegna, Italy [1431-1506] 'Resurrection' 1457-59

'Resurrection', a tempera on panel painting by Andrea Mantegna dating from 1457-59 is now located in the Musee des Beaux-Arts in Tours, France.  

The painting depicts a radiant Christ stepping out of his tomb, surrounded by angels and holding the Resurrection flag, a flag of the crusaders which became a trope found in Resurrection paintings from around the time of the Renaissance.  The Roman soldiers on guard are shown traditionally shocked and overwhelmed.

Today as we celebrate the Risen Lord, I wish a Happy Easter to all the Readers of the Red Cardinal Blog.  May the Blessings of God be upon you.


Thursday, April 6, 2023



Giotto 'The Crucifixion' ca 1300

Good Friday

We remember...

Travel safely and take care this Easter 2023