Some tropical inspiration

Well my little blog has been taking an unexpected holiday again. As school holidays approached my daughter went down with a nasty bout of pneumonia and all my efforts seemed to be concentrated on keeping her comfortable. And then my son had a school trip snowboarding at Mt Hotham so my daughter and I headed to Cairns and Brisbane for a week. We had a really lovely time and I thought I would share some of the inspiration I found there.

We were staying in a holiday apartment with my parents. We were on the 5th floor of our building, right on the Cairns foreshore. The views were stunning!

The view from our apartment balcony on the first morning - even the clouds were beautiful :)

The view from our apartment balcony on the first morning – even the clouds were beautiful 🙂

In the evening we would generally take a walk along the boardwalk to buy an ice-cream. It was so much fun to pass people of all ages and nationalities, just sharing the simple pleasure of an evening stroll.

Muddy's Playground on the baordwalk in Cairns. At night, it took on an almost fairy-like quality.

Muddy’s Playground on the baordwalk in Cairns. At night, it took on an almost fairy-like quality.

Sunset in Cairns - bliss :)

Sunset in Cairns – bliss 🙂

But the real surprise was the apartment itself. In this complex, each apartment is privately owned and decorated. We just happened to be in the apartment that had beautiful ethnic embroideries hanging on the walls, and splashes of colour and artwork everywhere. It was simply perfect for us because Mum and I are both passionate about embroidery. I felt surrounded and immersed in inspiration!

An ethnic cross-stitch hanging on the wall of our apartment (behind glass so please excuse the reflections).

An ethnic cross-stitch hanging on the wall of our apartment (behind glass so please excuse the reflections).

Another beautiful embroidery - this time in metallic threads and sequins.

Another beautiful embroidery – this time in metallic threads and sequins (again behind glass – sorry).

On Tuesday we took a trip on the world famous Kuranda railway. I love that spectacular hue of green you find in tropical rainforests. And we visited the Butterfly Sanctuary, which was simply enchanting.

Our train disappearing into the tropical greenery on the Kuranda railway.

Our train disappearing into the tropical greenery on the Kuranda railway.

This beauitful butterfly landed on my brother-in-law's arm - AND stayed there long enough for us to get a photograph.

This beauitful butterfly landed on my brother-in-law’s arm – AND stayed there long enough for us to get a photograph.

Wednesday found us on a boat to Fitzroy Island. We had such a lovely day just snorkelling and lazing on the beach.

The idyllic beach at Fitsroy Island.

The idyllic beach at Fitzroy Island.

The patterns in this old coral are wonderful.

The patterns in this old coral are wonderful.

And then on Thursday we went shopping. My Mum had found Vivienne Francine, a Cairns based designer on their last trip and she knew that I would love her clothes. Well I confess I had a ball! I tried on eight or so dresses and I could easily have bought about  six of them. But I had to get it down to two 🙂 Vivienne was lovely too. She has an amazing eye for colour – her fabrics are just stunning. I had sooooo much fun choosing – which is unusual for me because it is rare to find a shop where everything fits me so well and feels so right. In the end, Mum and Dad bought me one dress as an early birthday present and I bought one for myself. Now I just need the weather to get warmer in Perth so I can start wearing them!

The funniest thing about this trip was that as usual, I had carefully packed a supply of sewing to keep idle hands busy…..and I didn’t work a stitch all week! I also took my knitting, and I think I managed about three rows 🙂 But sometimes it is good to give your hands and eyes a break, and this week I am full of enthusiasm and motivation again.

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