Waiting to be auntyfied

Saturday, January 27, 2007

for the 3rd time. My sister who lives in Boston is expecting her first child on Feb 3 but had anticipated being induced on Australia Day because of high blood pressure. I didn't sleep very well last night thinking that I might be woken at any hour with news of baby's safe arrival but the phone didn't ring so I woke up feeling quite disappointed. She rang mum at 1am to say that her blood pressure was under control so she wasn't being induced. She'd left the house with her packed bag and was not expecting to return home still pregnant so she didn't quite know what to do with herself. I hope she isn't kept waiting too long. My 3 babies were all late so I know what it is like to have that due date come and go. It is not fun. Hopefully baby B will be kinder to mum and dad!

Thank goodness for cousins

Monday, January 22, 2007

Mr Duyvken's cousin and her 2 children came over this morning for a play date. It was too hot for the kids to run around outside much but they had a great time playing inside and then watched a couple of episodes of Dora the Explorer and ate a pile of fruit toast and bananas while she and I caught up. Well, we tried to catch up but all mums know how hard that is... we did manage to follow a few lines of conversation in between the regular interruptions of children needing sunscreen, hats, trips to the bathroom and requests for food and drink. I don't know how I'll ever get back into the groove of conversing once the children are all at school. Her youngest starts pre-school in 2 weeks so uninterrupted grown-up time is in her immediate future but I am still years away! I honestly wonder if I'll get the groove back or if all these years as a full-time mum will make it almost impossible to regain?

After a couple of hours at our place G went home with them for a swim and while J and C were napping I pulled out my sewing machine and got a few more blocks sorted out. I'm nearly ready to sew the rows together. Hopefully I'll get the last few done tomorrow and I can put it all together before the end of the week.

I hope it all comes together well, I'm having a hard time picturing how it will look once it's all pieced but I have a few ideas in case the zoo fabric isn't standing out enough. We'll see if I need to resort to piano keys at the top at bottom of the quilt or zoo fabric binding.

Things I love

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


In my post about our new stove you might have noticed the utensils hanging above it. They were a gift from Mr Duyvken's grandmother for my kitchen tea before we were married. They were hers and hung in her kitchen until she moved into a retirement village. She got them in Holland before they emigrated to South Africa. I love having them. They have been soldered and repaired, the spoons have worn down sides from all the stirring she did over the years lovingly preparing dinner for her 8 children. I picture her with toddlers at her feet and a baby on her hip stirring a big pot of soup sometimes when I am using the spoon to prepare dinner or the spatula to ice cupcakes... mothering and nurturing my children as she mothered and nurtured hers. There's something special about having these in our kitchen, a daily reminder of heritage, family and the passing of time. I plan on taking good care of these family heirlooms, using them daily but maintaining them so that I can pass them along when the time comes. Of course, it will only be for someone VERY special that I let these babies leave my house :-) Thank you Oma.

I love a good before and after

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

it's almost like living in my own redecorating program. Only not.... However, I do have before and after photos to share and a wonderful new stove to cook on. After 15mths of only having 3 working hotplates and a somewhat temperamental thermostat it is blissful to have a new stove to explore. It feels like a new world of dinner possibilities are opening up before us.

One of our resolutions for 2007 is to add a few new meals to our weekly repertoire. We eat a fairly varied and healthy vegetarian diet but over the last 2 years we've found ourselves eating the same 6 or 7 things week after week. Our new 'toy' should make this resolution a whole lot easier to stick to.

Our kitchen is original to the house and it's a reasonable size but there are 3 doors which makes the layout rather strange. Why does a kitchen need 3 access points?!

Love Friday night outings

Friday, January 12, 2007

I love going out on Friday nights and kicking the weekend off. It always seem to lengthen the weekend and it gives Mr Duyvken a chance to shake off the working week. Like all families we have our old favourites, the places we visit again and again but it is always nice to go somewhere new so tonight, we went down to Brighton-le-Sands for a play on the beach and a sunset dinner of avocado and cucumber sushi rolls. J isn't much of a beach boy, there's something about walking on sand that he really doesn't like so he stood on the steps looking across the Bay watching the planes come in to land at Mascot airport. He was in heaven. G, on the other hand is a total beach fiend and she was racing across the sand, chasing seagulls and digging holes until darkness fell and C started getting restless.

There's a cool change rolling in and some beautiful lightning flashing across the sky... after the heat and humidity of the day it's very welcome.

Happy bunkbedders

Thursday, January 11, 2007

What a night! In fact, what a day! It has been very hot today. Properly, sweatily, stickily, nastily hot. G and J played outside this morning building a house from the cardboard box our new oven came in (completely ignoring the beautiful play structure that daddy spent a week in October constructing) until 10:30 when it was simply too hot to stay outside. We worked our way through all our favourite indoor activities and a few loads of laundry and then decided to go for a drive so we could enjoy the air conditioning in the car. I could have sat in there all afternoon if diapers didn't need changing and babies didn't need feeding ;-)

I couldn't figure out why the kids were at such a fever pitch of excitement and put it down to the heat until I remembered that Mr Duyvken had promised to set up the bunkbed for them tonight. C is moving into the bedroom with them, J is moving out of the cot to make room for her and as there isn't room in there for 2 single beds and a cot Mr Duyvken built a bunk for G and J to share.

It was as if Christmas had come again, they were so excited about it. J's first night in a big boy bed.... mum was right, children really do grow up too fast.


We've just put up the curtain rail so I can make some blockout curtains to hang in their room to keep the morning sun and heat out and also to dress the place up a bit. This weekend we need to buy Jem some sheets and a doona cover and I need to get cracking on his quilt so that the room looks nice. I want to have it finished before C's baptism on Feb 4th. Can it be done? We'll soon see!

A bump in the road

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I was flying along the other and then I just plain ran out of the 2d zoo fabric! Being new to quilting I really have no idea how much fabric I need to buy for any given piece but clearly my guestimate for this one was way out. Luckily I was able to find a couple of places online that stock it - none of my local fabric stores have aisles that fit a double stroller and an enthusiastic 6 year old :-) - so I should be back to sewing by the end of the week.

In the meantime I have been stitching the light blue background fabric to the squares I'd already completed and I'm really happy with how it is all coming together. I can't tell you what a relief that is!

Happy crafting!

Progress

Saturday, January 06, 2007

I have almost finished 5 blocks and have 7 to go before I can start putting it all together. Here are the completed blocks lying on the light blue fabric I am going to use as the sashing. I'm going to add 10cm of the blue fabric to each side of the Alexander Henry fabric and then sew 3 blocks together for each row of the quilt. That will give me a width of 150cm which, according to the wadding I bought, is single bed size.



G is jealous that two sewing projects in a row have been for her younger brother so the next project will definitely have to be for her!

A machine of my own

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I'm feeling like a very lucky girl tonight because after years of borrowing my mum's or my mother-in-law's sewing machine I finally have a machine all of my own. I took a few hours to myself yesterday afternoon while Mr Duyvken is home on holidays and browsed the machines at one of my local craft stores and I came home with a Pfaff Smart 100s. It's a very basic machine but it should serve me well and so far it is a dream to work with, fiddling with tension settings for every row of stitch is almost a distant memory. The store was having a New Year sale on all the Pfaff machines and it was reduced by $100 which brought it down into my price bracket so I took a deep breath and bought it!



My current project is a single bed quilt for J's big boy bed and this machine is speeding up the process dramatically! I'm using Alexander Henry fabric 2d zoo and a handful of solids. I like the simple, graphic nature of the quilt design (12 squares against a light blue background, no borders and an as yet undetermined binding) because I think it will allow the fabric to take centre stage and I LOVE the fabric. Alexander Henry's designs remind me of John Coburn's work - graphic, bold, evocative and beautiful. I think my little man will like it as well.

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