What a time to travel

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We're all heading to the to US today to visit my sister and give the extra security that has been put in place after the terrorism attempts at Christmas it should be an interesting trip. It's not a great time for a nervous traveller to put all her precious children on a plane to USA.
Wish us luck!

Mother and Child

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I love this stamp from the 2009 Auspost Christmas stamp designs. The magi are nice but I really love the madonna with child design. I'd love to be able to buy a poster of this but it looks like a maxicard is as big as it gets and that's not actually the whole picture. I have a small collection of mother and child pictures and would love to have this with them. Maybe I should just buy a small frame and put the stamp in the middle?

Come for a walk

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

This time last year JW and I took you out for coffee and this year we thought we'd do it again. G came along as well (as a means of avoiding a trip to Bunnings with Mr Duyvken, J and C) and we walked up admiring all the agapanthus that are still flowering, chatting about school and G's hopes for the holidays.

There are a few coffee places to choose from at our local shops but we decided on the Danish pastry place (that confusingly has a french name) and ordered a poppy seed danish and apple crumble slice.
We chatted with the people at the tables near us and some of our friends from the neghbourhood who came by while we were sitting there. We did some people watching. These people looked like they were having a great time,
and we loved this woman's skirt.
We popped into the supermarket on the way back to pick up some bananas and a little more bling for the tree.
I also discovered that if I decide to whore it up for Christmas I don't need to travel far to outfit myself. What a relief!

7 things about me

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The delightful duo SmitoniusandSonata have given me an award (an award!) and tagged me to participate in the Kreativ Blogger 7 Things Meme (a meme!). So, what are 7 things you don't know about me? Well, here they are,

1. All parents should have a convincing 'thumbs up' in their arsenal of encouraging words and gestures but I, sadly, do not. My 'thumbs up' attempts are pathetically limp and ill-formed. I worked hard on it through 2009 but it didn't get any better or any easier. But what can I do? The OK gesture is just as bad and if I wave at them they feel compelled to stop whatever they are doing to return the wave which isn't what I am aiming for. I just want to let them know that I'm watching, that they're doing well and to encourage them to keep having fun. I ruined a few soccer goal attempts this year by waving!

2. None of my quilts sold at the market last weekend. Nor have they sold on etsy. So, whilst I am perfectly happy with my quilts and my quilting, I have to admit that other people (although very polite) are not interested in parting with money to have a duyvken original snuggling their precious little bundle. Somewhat pathetically, I had already mentally built a small empire on my little quilts. I was designing labels and building a studio in the roof space. You know those gorgeous attic conversions? Yes, one of those was going to be mine. Which proves that I am a dyed in the wool optimist! The upside of having all those quilts still sitting in the cupboard at my house is that I will be well stocked for when new babies are born and school fundraiser time rolls around again. See, there's always an upside.

3. I heart Bernard Fanning. To prove that my affection is not misplaced I give you Exhibit A:
and Exhibit B:

I rest my case.

4. I just finished JM Coetzee's Slow Man. It was wonderful! The book I read before that was an Elizabeth George mystery which probably makes JM seems even better than he actually is but even taking that into account he is a remarkable writer. It's a very thought provoking book.

5. My hairdresser's name is Betty.

6. I have met some amazing and wonderful people through blogging - a big shout out to all of you!

7. Mr Duyvken has man flu. He's been stricken for a couple of weeks. It's a particularly bad case of man flu, as I am sure you can imagine. So, not a lot of fun for me, as I am also sure you can imagine. So the last thing you might not know about me is that I am not a fan of man flu.

Tomorrow, I'll be back to tag 7 other people!

In the words of C

Friday, December 18, 2009

Instead of saying "hold on a minute" C says "just a sec, I need to hold on to something".
I love it. We haven't corrected her because it's just too damn cute!

Happy Birthday J

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More donut stack cake goodness this afternoon. We were going to have the party in the yard but it was so hot here today we retreated inside . J was a very happy little guy. It does a mama good to see her children so happy during a donut-fueled playdate with friends and neighbours. It does a mama a lot of good indeed.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

G and C finished school for the year today. I appliqued an old t-shirt to mark the occasion and C was very excited about it. She looked adorable in her knee socks and shorts but these pre-school kids know how to put together an outfit, check this out!

That's JW in the background, she sits herself down and gets straight to playing when we get to pre-school because she knows that as soon as everyone is signed in and the lunches, fruit and water bottles are in the right baskets we're heading out the door. I wonder if she'll love it so much when it's actually her turn to stay all day.
J turns 5 tomorrow and we had a party for him on Saturday. I had one of my biggest cake decorating disasters ever but, as you can see from the photo, he didn't seem to mind. One of J's best friends missed his party because his mum got the date wrong so we're having them and a few other people over tomorrow afternoon to share in a donut stack cake and make to the birthday boy feel special. After all, turning 5 is kind of a big deal, don't you think?

Things I love

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

1. Frank Gehry Wiggle chair, so lovely! 2. Byron Starlights - they have the most wonderful display each evening on Jonson St, Byron Bay. I can't wait to get a couple for the deck! Not that we have a deck but when we do it will have starlights on it.
3. Making christmas gift tags with the kids - messy, sticky and completely lacking in artistic merit but we're having a lot of fun.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Bags appliqued with the duyvken logo (!) and ready for Allie's Attic market tomorrow at Paddington Town Hall from 10am. I drew it so it looks like a bird to me but now that I look at it from a distance I think maybe it looks like a puddle. What do you see?
A Pe De coffee grinder I'm always hoping to find in the window up at my local St Vincent de Paul shop, so far, no luck but I live in hope. Imagine my surprise this morning when I spotted one over at Myrtle and Eunice?!
And dancing shoes because I am supervising at the school disco tonight. That should be a hoot!

B for barter

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

This new cushion is smaller than the one I made in November for my nephew and is a gift to welcome a new baby boy, Bailey, to the neighbourhood. I hope he likes those fuzzy edges. I've discovered that the trick to getting a turn holding the new baby is to give the parents something to unwrap when you arrive so this should buy me some snuggle time tomorrow. See, it looks like it's for him but really it's all about me :-)

Giveaway Reveal

Monday, December 07, 2009

Congrats Sue! The random number generator brought up your number so you will be getting the christmas stash pack in the post. I hope you enjoy using the bits and pieces!
Sue has a lovely blog that I've only just recently stumbled across, I hope you'll pay her a visit if you have a chance.
I've found a few other lovely sites lately, perfect for a little pre-Christmas procrastination, so here are the links so that you can enjoy them as well:
Merbodal - swedish loveliness (how does one spell loveliness?)
NeviePie Cakes - divine gingerbread creations
Purl Soho linen - yes please!
Prefab homes - double yes please!
The Garden Vineyard - one day my yard will look like this. Maybe Mary will even blog about it. Mary is printing her own photos now, I wish her lots of success in this new endeavour.


Thursday, December 03, 2009

We celebrated Oma's birthday yesterday and will keep the handmade sign up because J's birthday is just around the corner. I can't believe it!
Hopefully in 2010 we'll buy a new oven and I'll be able to start baking again but until then it's donut stack cakes. I love them!

In the Shop

I added another cot quilt to my etsy shop today. It's made using fabric from the Heather Ross far far away range and pale pink polka dots. I hand appliqued the circles to the quilt and then quilted it on my machine. The double gauze cotton makes it wonderfully soft and cuddly.
My quilts will be available for sale at Allie's Attic on December 12 at Paddington Town Hall at Retromummy's table. Be sure to stop by to check them out and to see the wonderful fabric that Corrie will have for sale.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway! I'll be drawing a winner tomorrow.


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I spent most of yesterday tidying up the hall cupboard so that I can move my sewing stuff in there. Up til now it's been piled into a green shopping bag next to the couch. Seeing it all piled up on the shelf was a little disconcerting though. I have quite a bit if fabric. Who knew you could fit that much into a shopping bag? So this is a Christmas-themed giveaway to help clear out some stash.
Leave a comment and I'll draw a winner at the end of the week.
Smitonius and Sonata have tagged me so I'll be back as soon as I can think of 7 things you don't already know about me.


Pan fried mushrooms (cooked in a little olive oil and light soy sauce) served with vegies and avocado. The kids can't get enough enoki mushrooms at the moment and because their perfume always reminds me of corn I added some corn to this mix.
What's in it? Diced onion, garlic, the diced stem of the flat mushroom, diced capsicum, enoki, green beans, corn off the cob, bread crumbs, salt and pepper along with a little olive oil is all that's on this and it tasted delicious.

Teacher gifts

Monday, November 30, 2009

I'm slowly making a few pencil rolls for the teachers for Christmas gifts this year. Yes, that's more of that alphabet fabric you can see!
I've modified it slightly but I am using the Pink Chalk Studio pencil roll pattern from the Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts book. It's such a gorgeous book, I want to make everything.

At the beach

Sunday, November 29, 2009

There's nothing better than getting some sand between your toes on a hot weekend.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dear Santa,
I'll have one of these, please.
I'd appreciate it if you could make it too big to fit on the back of my hand.

In the Shop

Friday, November 27, 2009

I added another stroller quilt (65cm x 76cm) to my etsy shop today. It's made using a moda authentic charm pack and the colours and typography prints are just gorgeous. I hand quilted diagonal lines using cream perle thread and it is backed with another alphabet print.

I love the backing fabric and am glad I bought quite a bit of it when I saw it at Spotlight.

Answering Questions

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I've had a couple of questions lately but some of the commenters have no-reply emails so I'll answer them here. I hope that if you asked me something you'll find the answer here!

CC's comment:
I love the tractor fabric and the animals in the last post. Where do you find such lovely fabric?
Hi CC! Clearly, you have excellent taste. I am sure that I have mentioned before that sewing is little more than a pleasant diversion for me and, as such, I make slow progress with many of my projects. I bought the animal fabric (Alexander Henry 2d zoo) a few years ago from Quilt Fabric Delights. They don't seem to have it in stock at the moment but I did find it here and here.
I found the tractor fabric at the Craft Depot but I can't find it on the website and I used it all so I don't know what it was called.
Some of the places I like to buy fabric are Spotlight, Retromummy and Fat Quarter Shop.
Lynn's comment:
Are you guys officially vegetarian?
Hi Lynn! I know that is just a yes or no question but I am sure you are dying for details (haha) so the answer is 'yes' but there's a little more to it than that. We've been vegetarian for a long time (12 or 15 years?) with a few bouts of veganism but I like honey and I wear leather so I can't commit completely to that although I do admire people who do. Our pantry is full of legumes and the fridge is full of soy milk, we eat vegie meals here at home but Mr Duyvken eats meat and fish from time to time when he goes out (particularly for work functions) and has done so for 3 or 4 years.


6 happy hearts hanging in the shade of the crepe myrtle.
Soundtrack: G, J and C jumping and laughing on the trampoline, JW sitting at my feet crunching leaves between her fingers and the kids over the back fence playing in the pool. All the sounds of a noisy, boisterous, early summer afternoon.

Looking for signs

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

You know it's time to put the sewing away when -
a) you stitch your ornament together with one of the fabrics the wrong way around, b) you try again and get the fabrics right but this time put the ribbon in the wrong way
c) you try yet again and get the fabrics right and the ribbon in the right way but the ribbon placement is a few mm's off and won't hang properly.
I am going to pay attention to all these portents, pack everything away and try again tonight.
Wish me luck!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Handquilting J's throw. Sewing triangles to make a pinwheel cot quilt.
Adding circles to the far far away cot quilt top.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This week we are:
*enjoying the view of our neighbour's jacaranda from over the back fence.
* Seeing signs of summer everywhere, in the cicada shedding it's skin on the cubby house,* and the angophoras shedding their bark in the yard,and on the trampoline. But we just keep jumping because that's how we roll.


Monday, November 16, 2009

This is what I have been working on today. The far far away fabrics are so lovely to work with, I am really enjoying putting them together. I see that Heather Ross has a new collection coming out based on the owl and the pussycat story. I'm looking forward to seeing that one when it hits the shops!

First Communion

Sunday, November 15, 2009

G's big day went beautifully. She, and all the other kids, were so wonderful last night at mass and then she thoroughly enjoyed herself this afternoon with all her cousins and family around her.
You'll notice that she's not wearing a flower on her sash. I couldn't get the aerosol fray stop and the liquid stuff just didn't work for me. I am sure that someone else would have mastered it but we just couldn't get it to work for us. We still want to try those lovely flowers so we'll order some of the spray online and let you know how it works out. G was very lucky to wear a marcasite brooch that belonged to my great aunt. To be honest, I think she liked it even more than the flower we'd been aiming for :-)

Dinner tonight

Friday, November 13, 2009

There is nothing that cannot be improved by the addition of poppy seeds. This is a proven fact. So when making soy sausages wrapped in puff pastry with a side of vegetables and tomato sauce for dinner I couldn't resist dipping into my black pearl stash.

Thanks to Lynn for the idea!

Merry Christmas

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Is it just me or does that poor raccoon look like he's been lynched?

The Mooch

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

One of my nephews is having a tractor themed 4th party this weekend so we picked some fabric and made him a floor cushion (with an envelope back) for mooching around on. It wasn't easy finding tractor fabric that I liked even though there were quite a few available. Why are some of those novelty fabrics so awful? I do like the chicken wire fabric though, something about that really appeals to me. Hopefully, my nephew will feel the same way!

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