Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Greetings from the Red Cardinal nest.
Life has been busy, and Springtime is flying by..
Jonquils have bloomed in our daffodil garden,

and friends came for lunch bringing me a wonderful bouquet, just stunning.
We celebrated Springtime in the garden....

Dad's orchid was duly admired - next year, Six Fronds!

My dear friend D gave me this lovely vintage bowl - 
Springtime Perfection...

It is countdown time: in three month we fly to Canada for Christmas.
The little grandsons are enjoying Fall, when it appears the apples do just that...

Naturally, we are looking for a White Christmas -

Fingers crossed...

I joined a new choir for Ladies of a Certain Age:

Have been to a few rehearsals, and so far, so good.
It's been lovely re-connecting with many friends from my old choir which closed last year.  There is a uniform:  a shirt in a plain, bright colour, worn with black.

I made this from a small length of silk from the stash:

These tiny orchids are stalwarts -
they appear every year, demand no maintenance, and are wired onto a post!

A bit of rain would be nice for all the other plants -
it's been dry for weeks as Summer moves in on us.

Australian wild ducks, on my daily walk..

Irene Entata, Australia, b.1946, Arrernte/Luritja people 'ALBERT AND REX PAINTING' 2003. QAG.

Indigenous artist Irene Entata, lived as a child at Hermannsburg Mission in Central Australia.  In her paintings, she remembers those times fondly and joyously paints the beautiful MacDonnell Ranges and the abundant flora and fauna of the area.

Entata remembers seeing the famous aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira [1902-59] when she was a small child, and here depicts the early years of the Namatjira story.  A veteran of World War 1, artist Rex Battarbee, travelled by camel on a number of expeditions to paint the beauty of the inland.  On his 1936 visit to Hermannsburg he met Namatjira who asked for tuition in watercolour painting, in return offering to act as 'camel boy'.

Namatjira learnt quickly, and in a few years surpassed his teacher.
I will tell his story in another post.  
Entata's painting is very detailed - look at the trees at the bottom centre and left - what appear to be pink flowers are in fact a famous Australian bird, the Galah:

Have a good week.


Thursday, August 31, 2017


Happy September 1st, and the first day of Spring in Australia..

and from my Birds of Canada calendar.
I am guessing these are robins -
am I right?

Both Mr C and Little Aussie brought me bunches of daffodils on Daffodil Day,
the one which bloomed in our back garden being insufficient for my Spring decor..

Aussie and his Dad have birthday a few days apart, and we were in celebratory mood:

Behold the shared birthday cake devised by our clever son..

This is a baby emu chick.
Mavis Ngallametta, Kugu-Muman and Kugu-Uwanh peoples, b.1944 'Ngak-pungarichan (Clearwater) 2013.

If you look very closely, you will find one in this painting by Indigenous artist Mavis Ngallametta, of the Kugu-Muman and Kugu-Ewanh peoples from Far North Queensland, on the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Ngallametta paints the landscape of her area, often using the oches from the very land she paints.  The area is rich in bauxite, as seen in the vivid orange/red of the painting.  She maps the complex river systems along the Western side of Cape York, as well as the waters of the Gulf.

Her style, unlike many Australian Aboriginal painters, is less about tribal signs and traditional marks, but rather a personal contemporary semi-abstract portrayal of the landscape, which I enjoy very much.

Dancing in the waters of this very large picture, you will find little creatures, ducks, and even the little emu:

I don't know about you, 
but I did not plan to watch all the Diana documentaries -
but I did.

I found I appreciated her gifts more in hindsight, and now that I am older.
She certainly was unique, and the passing of 20 years has not dimmed her presence and impact on the world.

I thought the white memory garden a beautiful idea, and a perfect way to commemorate Diana's life and work.

Take care, and treasure those you love


Monday, August 21, 2017


If I don't say Happy August soon, it will be September!
So Happy August everyone, and I hope you have all been well during my absence.  

Spring is in the air hereabouts, with two crazy Summer days last week -
A 34C maximum - quite unfair I think.
We only get about 12 weeks of Winter here, and some of us enjoy dressing up in our merino and cashmere, not to mention nice warm dresses, coats, and jeans (which are too hot to wear for months on end during Summer)

Sanity has prevailed, and we are back to cool weather and cold morning minimums around 1degC, with a touch of frost on the car.

At our local Florist shop - aren't the colours gorgeous?

We have been feeling a bit flat, what with the latest flu virus doing the rounds and a few other medical issues in the house.

Cheer-up visit from our grandpuppy Harley Quinn.
She is a mad funny happy dog..

The arrival of our first and only annual daffodil in the back garden.
We score points for effort in the tropics.

Can you see the beginnings of five fronds of gorgeous King orchids?
This has grown from a piece of my father's enormous orchid which we divided among the family when he went into permanent care in 2012.
Urban garden legend has it that a transplanted one of these will have one frond the first year, and an additional one every subsequent year.
And so it has proved to be - right on cue, we are up to five beautiful creamy fronds this year, and I can't wait for them to burst out.

Here's a look at Year 2

Lorikeet love..

Brotherly love (by a Canadian river)

The little Canadian grandsons have enjoyed the holiday break, including lots of Summer treats - don't you like the Quebec way of sizing icecream?

Who loves vintage linen - this piece speaks to me of Springtime..

Mr Cardinal is continuing to recover after his total knee replacement.
It takes a long time - and he has been diligent with the daily stretching and flexing exercises, with good results, but is now working on regaining his stamina.

Another milestone, as he felt able to come for a short visit to GoMA to see the Marvel Universe exhibition for himself.  It has been a huge hit with Brisbane crowds.

I have enjoyed guiding some fun tours of this unusual show - although I still struggle to name all the characters and discuss their particular attributes!

Have a great week,
Happy August!