Tuesday, March 12, 2024



I am coming in first with my favourite gown of the Oscars, 2024.

Black and White, simple and sculptural, this was a stand out.

I had a rare opportunity to stay home and watch the entire proceedings, which is in the middle of the day here in Australia.

Margot Robbie

Things have changed.  There was a lot of black...

And shine, and neutrals...

I do not know most of these ladies, but this is Anya Taylor-Joy in a very sparkly, mermaid-type creation..  

Rita Morena gives hope to all of us Senior Ladies, so chic...

Reader, she is 92!  

Charlize Thereon is always elegant.  A new twist on oyster satin...

I rather like Jennifer Lawrence's b/w spot, a fresh take with unusual shoulder treatment.

This lady is lovely.  I really want to see Killers of the Flower Moon.

You know I always love the pink looks - well this one certainly made up for the lack of pink in 2024...

And another award for this brave combo of red and deep pink.

Plus very puffy sleeves.  Seems I can wear my puff sleeve dresses for another season or two...

Lapita is always beautifully gowned..

A butterfly..

A touch of gleaming pink..

Elegant and on-trend..

And no, just no.  

We are not going to hoik our shoulders up into the air..

Not ever...

At last, a flutter of Barbie pink.  Poor Barbie missed out ..

Never mind Margot, it was great while the fun lasted.

Well that just about sums it up.

See you next year!


Friday, March 8, 2024



   Happy International Women's Day dear Readers..

I hope you are all well..

At last we have a soft breath of Autumn late in the afternoon, and sometimes a cooling South-Easterly breeze late at night.


This week I went to my sewing group, and completed a tri-fold pouch, a slow-stitched collage of old linen, lace and fabric scraps.  It will be a gift to a special member of our family.


and Back.

The Sewing Sisters spent as much time talking about Junk Journals as we did working on our sewing.
I got lots of new tips and special little bits and pieces to work with.
Nothing to how you yet, but I am diligently learning and working on my first journal.

Meanwhile, back at QAGOMA where I work as a tour guide,
a new exhibition has opened.  Above is a work called 'Skin Country' by Carol McGregor, of the Wathaurung people.
It is a giant map of the greater Brisbane area, made from ochre, charcoal, wax thread and pyroincision on grey possum skins.

 The Brisbane River snakes across the map, surrounded by delicate botanical pictures of native flora, painted with natural pigments sourced from the areas depicted.  Some of the flora correspond to Aboriginal suburb names which come from the abundance of a particular plant in the area.

The use of stitched possum skins is informed by the artist's inheritance of possum-skin cloak-making traditions.  Traditional possum-skin cloaks were worn by Aboriginal people in cold weather and colder climes, the inside of the skins marked with personal tribal designs, totems and maps of Country.  Contemporary possum-skin cloak-making continues this practice.

The Red Cardinal nest is located North of the River, and slightly to the left of centre where there is a fern with an orange leaf or seed pod above it, which could be mistaken for a red bird if you were very imaginative...

(Edited to add:
In Australia all native flora and fauna are protected species.  The only exception is that Indigenous peoples can hunt for traditional purposes.  In this case, the Possum skin cloak is a traditional item.  Possums are very common, and in fact many people regard them as a pest.  They are not killed, only relocated if they are living in your roof, which happens a lot and has happened in our house.  Koalas, for example, are an endangered species and would never be hunted to make an art work.)

Hermannsburg Potters

Hermannsburg Potters

The exhibition is titled 'Seeds and Sovereignity' and is open in QAGOMA now.
Enjoy the weekend


Thursday, February 29, 2024


 Happy Leap Day dear Readers..

Time flies, and the long hot Summer continues at the Red Cardinal nest.

Google image

The other day I saw one of these beautiful blue/green tree snakes...
we startled each other as I drove out of the garage.
The snake was climbing up a geranium and disappeared into a tree.
They are non-venomous and such a pretty colour.

We have had a visit from a local tree lopper.
Our giant gum tree had become dangerously large, with branches about to grow into our deck space.  The hot weather and frequent rain really contributed to a growth spurt.
I forgot to take a 'before' picture: above is how it looked after being reduced by about 50%.

The tree lopper also removed the uninvited trees along the back fenceline.  These experts are amazing the way they rope themselves and climb way up into a tree the height of a three story house.

We have been to a wonderful concert at the beautiful, elegant Cathedral of St. John, with the Brisbane Chamber Choir and the Cathedral Girl Choristers.

For the Season of Lent, they sang some Poulenc Motets, Cantus Missae in E-flat Major by Josef Rheinberger, and my favourite, the gorgeous Requiem by Gabriel Faure.  I loved singing 'In Paradisum' when I was in the ladies choir a few years ago.

Love this former hospital building adjacent to the Cathedral..

Boring as it is, we had another flood down the hill on the main road and in the park where I walk.

We are getting quite 'ho hum' about it all...

It only lasted one day.

I have fallen down another rabbit hole, and decided to do a bit of scrapbooking, looking at 'junk journals'.  

It looks easy - just use up old paper stuff around the house, of which we have plenty.   I began with tea dying a pile of papers, paper doilies, old cards etc.  Then I bought some paper online which has been dyed with avocado skins.  It comes out a beautiful shade of pink.

Like everything, after hours of U-tube tutorials, I soon found it is slightly more difficult than it appears, and my first effort is heavy on the glue, and rather lacking in a delicate touch.

Undeterred, I have bought a few tools and stamps, a one-hole punch. and some pretty Japanese papers.  We will see how this works out as a way to declutter some paperwork and avoid housework....

Our personal Red Cardinal jungle...

My firstborn child has a Big Birthday this week.
It is sad that she is in Canada, and we are not!
It makes me feel very old, and we wish her every happiness for her birthday and the years ahead.  She is a wonderful daughter, wife and mother and we love every Facetime call we have together.

Hope our parcel arrives in time....

Be well and take care..


Tuesday, January 30, 2024



While my daughter and her family are skiing each weekend at their local ski mountain venue in Canada...

we Red Cardinals continue to experience the hottest, wettest, and most humid January for many years..

Trees and hedges are growing in the Garden of Neglect at a rate so fast we can almost stand and watch.  The grass grows six inches each week!

Hedges are going wild and at the lower end of our back yard, two uninvited trees have shot up from the gully below.  They are most unwelcome and the tree man is coming this week to deal with them.

Tropical vines, not native to Australia, have also popped up everywhere.
The noise of tree and hedge trimmers, chainsaws and other equipment can be heard around our neighbourhood every day..

This giant root appeared under a hedge - and we do not know where it comes from.  It could be a tree some distance away.  We hope some expert advice will help.

There has been another cyclone in North Queensland, and heavy rain here in the South East this week, with local flooding.
I filmed this today in the park where I walk:

(I hope this video works.  Blogger makes things tricky these days)

Our old-style pink rose is in full bloom again.  I know, roses do not like hot, humid conditions and lots of rain, but it is a trooper and carries on regardless.  

As odd things spring up everywhere, it seemed right to purchase these salt and peppers at the Fairytales exhibition.  Mushrooms do have a habit of populating fairytales...

Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz 'Traveler'263'  2019

Carsten Holler 'Flying Mushrooms' 2015

When the rain eased today, I ventured out to the only remaining haberdashery store on our side of town.
'Spottie' is the store which frequently disappoints.  My list had only three items: a deep pink invisible zip, a new blade for my rotary cutter, and a pattern to make a dress for a little girl aged one.

The supply of invisible zips has been reduced to about five colours only, and pink was not one of them.  I resorted to the old-style zip which I will insert by the lap method.  

There were no blades in the popular sizes for rotary cutters, only a few empty pegs where they should reside.

I discovered the Big Four pattern companies have largely discontinued dress patterns for little girls.  And where there was one in the catalogue, it was not in stock.  I am having a think about what to do next.  Patterns are very expensive in Australia, and more so if purchased online when postage must be added.

As a home sewist, I think I am part of an endangered species!

The pink zip is a match for this fabric, purchased from my previous favourite store Sckafs, before they closed last year.
As the heatwaves continue, I need another sleeveless dress.  I have only two in rotation, preferring to wear sleeves most of the time. 

This week we return to regular routine after the Summer holidays.
The Sewing Sisters meet this week, and I am busy with my Slow Stitching projects.

The Book Club returns soon: I have read our holiday books, 'A Gentleman in Moscow' and 'Daughters in Law' and am now immersed in 'The Princes in the Tower' by Philippa Langley (the lady who found the lost King Richard III in a carpark a few years ago.)

Hope you are all well and busy - and not too hot or cold.


The Mad Hatter costume from 'Alice in Wonderland' 2010