Monday, July 10, 2017


We love it when the Red Cardinal garden celebrates Iris Season...

This year, however, it will be a short event.
They have been growing adjacent to an old wooden staircase in the garden, and it is about to be re-built.

Yesterday I had to dig up most of the iris -
 to protect them from earth moving equipment, men with tools, and possibly concrete spills.

Their remains are now divided and waiting in a couple of big pots for a re-plant in a week or two.

Weekend sunrise - and morning temps down to a brisk 2C around here..

Lorikeets send a cheerful greeting..

They will not like it when the workmen arrive, invading 'their' territory...

I have been to my sewing group - Note: This is not my work, but that of a very talented friend.  It became a ring cushion at a Wedding.

Can't claim credit for these either - I was stitching a secret project..

Meantime, Britain's Royal Ballet have been paying Brisbane a visit.
I went with my friend A to see 'Woolf Works'.
We are both fans of Virginia Woolf, and enjoyed this so very much.

Google Image - 'Virginia Woolf'
The ballet is a triptych, based around three Woolf novels, Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves as well as aspects of Woolf's own life.

The dancers portraying Mrs Dalloway, both young and older, were costumed to look very like Woolf herself...

It was mesmerising, especially to those familiar with the novels and the Bloomsbury set.


'The Waves'
Google image

I was soon thinking about my visit to Woolf's country home, 'Monk's House' in Rodmell, East Sussex, in 2004.  I loved her green interior so much.

At the end of the garden is her little writing lodge, preserved to this day.

Vanessa Bell 'Portrait of Virginia Woolf' 1912
Virginia Woolf's sister Vanessa Bell painted this portrait.

Stay warm, and have a great week.


Monday, July 3, 2017


Happy July, dear readers..
My Birds of Canada calendar makes it easy for me this month -
Mr and Mrs Cardinal, Blue Jay and Chickadees, if I am not mistaken.

Happy 150th Birthday and Canada Day to our Canadian friends,
 and DD and her little family.

Our grandsons have been decorating cakes with a maple leaf, a school holiday activity.  They are having a fun Summer.

Lots of activity this weekend on Ottawa's Capital Hill..

The impossibly cute Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire -
love his sox and her shoes...very celebratory!

Prince Charles falls for the Trudeau charm...

Meanwhile, back in the Cardinal Nest we have had a touch of real Winter.
Mr C is going well with his knee rehabilitation, and uses his vintage crotchet rug made by his Aunt to keep warm in the evenings.
He has started to drive the car, and walk short distances without sticks.
Life is beginning to return to normal.

Last week I bought a new washing machine, suddenly deciding I could no longer tolerate the old one and its crazy ideas regarding fabrics...

Never thought I'd find an appliance so attractive.
 I am actually finding reasons to wash things, just to try out all the various functions.
Ah, technology...

The delivery guys gave me a refrigerator box for Little Aussie -
because they are bigger.  He made this interesting construction for himself.
You crawl in the lower door, then poke yourself through an internal hole into the upper section.  Not recommended for the claustrophobic...

Stay out?  
No problem conforming to that request...

We watched the original Ghostbusters movie - our kids loved it back in the day.
It is not at all scary, only quaint and funny now.
Aussie was keen to see the Stay Puft Marshmallow man.

My lovely friend M gave me this gorgeous set of applique napkins, absolutely beautifully made by her own fair hands, back in the day.
Thank you so much, and I will treasure them always.
Don't they look wonderful with my fruity tablecloth from Florence?

Whatever do you think my red coleus is up to?

I am thinking of making a red dress using my old Catherine pattern, from a length of wool flannel in the stash.  Seems wrong not to...

Have a good week


Wednesday, June 21, 2017



Last week I returned to the house of my childhood, where I lived until I was sixteen.  It has been a rental property for a long time, and will be sold as part of my father's estate. It was recently the first anniversary of his passing - how time flies...

My parents built the house as their family grew, eventually having six children.
I was amazed to see the same bench-tops were still in the old kitchen.
My mother chose this design, and I remember it was called 'Parasol'..
Grey was chic then, as it is again now.
I stood in my old bedroom, and one wall is still painted in the same pale pink/lilac shade I chose for myself all those years ago, the little room where I studied for those high school exams...

I had forgotten the light switches - quite Art Deco in style..

Our Garden of Neglect surprised me with a pink gerbera -
well done...considering we did not even plant it there...

Bought myself a little reward gift from Lady Chatterley's Affair.
Her earrings are spectacular - I love the idea of a different posy for each ear..
If you would like to see her cute jewellery and homewares, look at

My 'prize' was for achieving the five-year mark as a cancer survivor, and I have 'graduated' from my oncologist/surgeon.  Of course, any worries and I can go back at any time.  It is a good milestone, and I am very grateful to be alive and in good health.

You knew I'd love Kate's rose pink dress and hat, didn't you?

Look at HM making eye contact with little Prince George.

She is amazing for 91, chic in pale blue..

Loved this white lace and frothy hat for Ascot too.

Such sad times in the UK, particularly London.  The world is in shock, but they carry on bringing some happiness and joy in dark times.

One would need nerves of steel, hoping nothing will go wrong.

Children's Art Centre, GoMA
We Cardinals have been enjoying 'Genius', the biography of Albert Einstein on National Geographic.

The series stars Queensland's own Geoffrey Rush brilliantly playing the mature Einstein...

I never studied science at school, more is the pity, and certainly could not explain the Theory of Relativity - but at least I am learning a few things.
I have downloaded the book onto my Kindle and am enjoying that too.

Have you seen it?