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


  1. You are so talented! How I wish I could sew! The video did work and that is a lot of rain. Still, once that dries up I can see that's a lovely place to walk! I love that you have museums with different exhibitions, ah...culture...it must be nice! 😊 Our culture at the moment is football! Will Taylor Swift fly from Australia to see her sweetie play in the Super Bowl? That's our big news!!😳Keep your cool!

    1. Thank you Kay, I am only talented in a limited few things! I have always loved the cultural pursuits, although finding it harder to fit in these days. So funny, we even see Taylor Swift at the Super Bowl on our screens too! Dare I admit I do not know any of her songs. oops.

    2. I must admit, I don't know any of her songs either! Now, my new daughter-in-law is a true "Swiftie" so I guess I better learn some. LOL!

  2. Dearest Patricia,
    Things certainly look lush and even invasive in your region, due to plenty of rain.
    Big roots have their own way of traveling far and can become a hazard for walking—over time.
    Too bad that you can't find an invisible pink zipper in your area.
    I've always been successful back then at finding anything I wanted in San Francisco at Britex Notions: https://britexfabrics.com/collections/notions
    They have everything!!!
    But I've long stopped sewing since I could buy cheaper real couture at the Outlets and size 4 US or 34 EUR fits perfect.
    Good luck!

    1. Yes, the big root could be a hazard for us, and will have to go. It will probably be that I will be forced to shop online for notions etc. I enjoy sewing for its own sake, but do buy clothing as well.

  3. The Mad Hatter costume is something else. It's so nice that you meet with a group of sewing sisters. I love that bright pink fabric. Those little mushroom salt and pepper shakers are delightful. And your roses are so pretty. Roses can withstand some of the worst climates. My mini roses still seem to bloom in the Spring after being buried in the winter snow. You have gotten so much rain, and the park where you walk looks like a pleasant and peaceful one. Take care, Patricia, and I do hope that the floods don't cause any damage at your home.

    Wishing you wonderful February days, dear friend.


    1. Glad you like the Mad Hatter costume. I enjoy seeing these costumes which have come from Los Angeles to Brisbane for the Exhibition. How amazing that roses survive being buried in snow - astonishing. We are high on a hill, looking down to the park where I walk, so no flood will get us here, although sometimes the roads are flooded and we can't get out to the shops for a day or so. Happy February Sheri

  4. Hi Trish ❤️
    That video did work and holy moly - that's crazy! I sure hope things dry up a bit soon. My arthritis does terrible in humid conditions -do you have any of those kinds of aches and pains? Just curious. You do have such beautiful vegetation there...always looks so tropical and pretty. So I guess maybe that's one perk? Lol
    I so wish I could sew. I had it in home economics class in middle school years - but it didn't "take" Lol I do like to cross-stitch/embroider a little. But I never liked sewing or sewing machines. I envy your talents! I hope you can figure out which material and I just know you'll make something lovely.
    You belong to such fun groups. I've thought about organizing a reading group here, but have never acted on it.
    Blessings on the rest of your week. xoxo

    1. Hi Carrie, glad the little video works. The creek is really rushing - the water comes down from a nearby mountain. Roads have been cut off, but I think we are over the worst. The vegetation that is the biggest nuisance does actually look lush - but needs to be dealt with as it overcomes everything. I think the vines would grow across the swimming pool given half a chance. Sewing seems to be one of those things that we either take to or we don't, just like many other activities. I began stitching with a needle when I was four, however, I can neither throw or catch a ball. Horses for courses they say. I've wanted to try a book group for years, and am pleased to have now found one that suits me. Perhaps it will be a good thing for you in years to come. xxx

  5. A couple of months ago I watched a fascinating documentary about the Princes in the Tower which involved Philippa Langley and the extensive research that she has carried out which was very convincing.
    I am sure that you will love making little dresses for your granddaughter - what a lucky little girl she is.
    Hope your large root is not a problem, and that it is nowhere near to your property.

    1. Ah, there is a documentary about the Princes. I will try to find it. I was so fascinated by Philippa Langley's work finding Richard III, and read her book and saw the film. She is a painstaking historian. I have fabric to make a dress for the second birthday of Little Miss. Fingers crossed I will find a way to do it. Unfortunately the root is at the back of our property, near an underground sewerage main. It will have to go!

  6. Meeting with friends who sew must be such an encouragement and fun time. I've noticed the lack of colours in invisible zippers, too. The bright fabric will surely please your granddaughter.
    I heard about the cyclone and rain - such wild wild weather. Take care.

    1. My small group has been going for almost 20 years, and we have been through the ups and downs of life together. It is a privilege to sew together every month, and we all learn from each other. I am surprised our cyclonic weather has been reported across the world! All is now calm here, but in some areas a big clean-up is underway.

  7. We are in our cold season. Extremes are not good.:) I'm sorry the heat is bringing on so much extra outdoor work, and the floods are worrisome.

    In the USA, many types are small businesses are also clothing. Your remaining sewing store experience is what I run into by going to Home Depot, a big box store. I go for very simple things that small hardware stores always had in stock, but Home Depot is always out of whatever I need. Small hardware stores are disappearing, as have record stores and stationary stores. I also miss the clocks that are disappearing from town squares and on the walls of small businesses. Alas, we are experiencing what older generations experienced before us, a changing world.

    1. Wow, it is the same over there as it is here! Most of our hardware stores have gone, only the Big Boys are left, and frequently run out of stock. So many types of small business have stopped. Just yesterday it was announced that Godfreys, a national chain of small vacuum cleaner stores, are closing. They were always handy and helpful. So sad. I miss clocks too, outdoor and in stores. Everything has changed since Covid!
      We just have to find new ways to do things.

  8. Oh Trish, how did I miss this post? I'm so sorry the heat is being a burden and as for floods, it seems to be the year for them everywhere. They are awful and cause so much damage. I hope they don't hit you too badly. By the way, I do so admire your sewing skills, and wish I could do the same. I only ever make the simplest of things. What a pity the shops you need are closing down. Is it lack of custom? Or is there another reason for the closures?

  9. I don't mind heat because you can always jump into a pool or sea. But humidity makes people cranky, sweaty and smelly :(
    Nonetheless if foreign tropical vines have popped up all over the place, they seem to like the humidity and rain. Where do they come from and how to they get into Qld?