Feb 14

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Thinking ahead.

Beautiful

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I could watch this for ages. And, given that I unintentionally embedded it 3 times, so can you!

Hourglass

Friday, January 23, 2009


I probably shouldn't have laid it on another quilt to take the photo but you can see where it ends, right? It has a white border with some ribbon detail.

Katherine's hourglass quilt just needs to be bound. Woohoo!

It came in just under the wire because her baptism is this Sunday. I've had this project on the go for months so I am pleased to be able to say it's finished even though I learnt a lot constructing it. Ie precision cutting is VERY important (duh) and machine quilting is fast (double duh). It has been said that I sometimes miss the obvious and I would suggest that this could be a case in point.

I am so pleased with it, it is going to be hard to give this one away.

It's almost done!

It's 2am and I want to tell someone that the quilt is finished but everyone's asleep so I had to blog about it. I really, really want to share some photos but I can't get the photos to upload - ack! It was my first attempt at machine quilting and I love it. It's so fast!
I'll put up some photos tomorrow!

I miss showers

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bathroom renovation day 17

Yes, you read that correctly.

Day 17.

We've gone a little over our 4 day estimate.

Status;

We can use the bath!

If we are very careful not to splash because the walls are still bare and while some of the floor tiles have been laid they haven't been grouted in yet.

So, we're treading lightly on the tiles, bathing carefully and dreaming about showers.

I know it's a very first world complaint but I do miss being able to have a shower.

My in-law's 40th wedding celebrations mean we won't get any work done this weekend so that takes us into February but it can't take too much longer.

Surely.

None of the children have shown any sign of being scared by the big hole in the floor where the shower drain will be. I was expecting they'd be nervous about it but they haven't mentioned it at all. I daren't mention it either just in case but I am very impressed with them.

Blessed

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


The chaos of 4 children - 1 bike, 1 scooter, 1 double stroller, 1 toddler who insists on walking, 3 ice-cream cones - can make me wonder why I leave the house at all but I had a lovely outing with them all last night. After an early dinner I took them to the beach for ice-cream and seashell collecting.

The kite surfers were making the most of the strong winds and gentle waves and we watched them skip over the water as the sun set. We left just as the last tips of pink were leaving the sky.


Bliss!

Omas are everywhere

Friday, January 16, 2009

I am pleased to say that it looks like the couch is going to be OK. I finally got hold of mum and found out that C had taken mum's crossword pen and done a little decoration on the new cushion covers. Mum tried to clean it up and ended up leaving a water and preen stain on them that is bigger than the mark she was trying to get off. Mum was quite annoyed that my sister had told me about it because she wasn't worried at all. I took the covers up to the dry-cleaners and am hoping that when I pick them up tomorrow they'll be all stain free!
Mary and Eurolush commented after my last post that they both also have Oma's in their families. My mother-in-law is dutch so it was a natural thing for our kids to call her Oma but my mum was hoping for Grandma. G has always been a very definite person and she quickly realised that the relationship was the same and Grandma was too damn hard to say so she called them both Oma. When we needed to clarify which Oma she was talking about she'd say 'Papa's Oma' or 'Bumpa's Oma' depending on which grandfather the Oma in question belonged to.
Bumpa?
He was going for Grandpa but that wasn't so easy to say either and, like I said, G is pretty determined once she sets her mind to something.

Hm

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I got this email from my sister this morning -

"I’m glad having fun with Oma and me was the highlight of C's day yesterday! She is so lovely.
I don’t suppose she mentioned the couch . . ."

No, C didn't mention the couch. I assume my sister means the couch that my mum just had reupholstered and I am very worried about what she might mean. C was in her cossie, was a little damp from the pool, is almost toilet trained and is very curious. Which adds up to great potential for trouble, don't you think? So now I want to know what happened to the couch?

Mum is out, my sister hasn't yet answered my email asking for details and I don't want to think about what might have happened but I am thinking about it anyway.

I'll keep you posted!

Hourglass

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


All the blocks are laid out on the dining table ready to be stitched together but it is rather late now and I know if I get started I will make a mistake so I am going to save putting the quilt top together for the morning. Hopefully, the children will give me the time I need to make that happen. It has been very warm today and more of the same is forecast for tomorrow so we might stay indoors and lay low until the southerly change comes through in the afternoon. 40C here we come!

Farewell

Monday, January 12, 2009

The agapanthus in my garden are fading to a light purple and going to seed. They're such reliable, sturdy things but even they feel lethargic in Sydney's mid-summer heat. C calls them 'panthus' and uses them as microphones when we're in the garden, announcing who will be next on the slide or singing 'baa baa black sheep' while we're getting everyone in the car. Getting everyone in the car takes a while so I've heard a lot of 'baa baa black sheep' over the past year! I wonder if she'll still do that when they bloom again next year? I hope so, it's those little things that I adore.

Sunday morning - 3 children eating nori rolls, 1 child eating a teething rusk (poor thing), Mr Duyvken having an almond croissant and a mocha, Duyvken having a latte and a chocolate croissant. All the children sat patiently, ate nicely, did not squabble over the fish soy sauce containers and we found space for the double stroller at a table.
It goes without saying that Sunday was a very good day.

On Meeting Bloggers

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I left Mr Duyvken with the bathroom renovations and 4 children to care for today and went to Kim's to meet up with some other Sydney bloggers. Eleanor, Mary, Kim and I sat on Kim's new deck (which she's blogged about), played with her lovely boys (who she's blogged about), ate Eleanor's daughters wonderful cupcakes (has she blogged about Miss Commentboxer's amazing baking?), saw Mary take photos (blogged), listened to her fantastic voice (not blogged about but definitely noteworthy), walked to the beach (blogged) and caught up on everyone's news (blogged). It was delightful. Truly delightful.

I walked down the sand and got my feet wet when we were at the beach. It's one of my rules, I'm afraid, I simply cannot go to the beach and not get my feet wet. Even if it's freezing I have to crunch through the sand down to the water's edge and let the Pacific lap at my toes. The sea air is one of my favourite things and I would find it difficult to live inland and to be without it. I've always lived in coastal cities, like most Australians I am a fringe dweller and being close to the sea makes me feel right. I know I am in the right place when I can hear the ocean and smell the salty air. Being with the bloggers today also felt 'right', so thank you to the three of you.

Speaking of the bathroom renovation, here are some photos that show you the progress so far. The end of day 5 looks like this -


- the bath isn't usable yet it just has water in it to help it set in place properly but hopefully we'll be able to bathe in there again soon. We've been bathing at the kitchen sink or going to mum's for a shower and the novelty can only last til the end of the week, surely? Mr Duyvken's back at work on Monday so this bathroom reno may become a regular feature. Watch this space!

While Mr Duyvken's been busy inside I've been working on the garden. Acmena smithii minor ready to be planted as a hedge along the western fence. Hopefully, it won't be waiting too long!

H O T

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Poor old Miss 0 has heat rash and the other 3 are falling apart at the drop of a hat. We enjoyed the a/c in the car, the a/c in the shops and then we went to mum's this evening for a swim. Bliss! I also bathed the kids at mums because our bathroom is being torn up. Mr Duyvken spent all day on it and it's still not quite finished. I don't what adhesive they used back in 1961 but that stuff is STRONG. Once the demolition is done the kids and I will be able to help out more. The sound of the small jackhammer and all the drilling had Miss 2 in tears and Miss 0 wasn't thrilled about it either. I'm looking forward to waterproofing and putting up tiles - this home-ownership thing is very exciting!

I found it

Monday, January 05, 2009

Mr Duyvken and I stopped by a rug shop (they call it a gallery) on the way home from the cricket yesterday and found a rug that we both really like. It's an indian/pakistani style rug in blues/turquises and creams and gave two beautiful hues when you looked at it from different angles. The only problem was the price. We established pretty quickly that our budget wouldn't stretch that far but the guy who was showing up the rugs was persistent. Very persistent in fact. The problem with that was that he didn't really show us anything we could actually afford and just kept trying to sell us the first rug we'd seen that we liked. So, we've seen a rug that we like. A rug we can't afford. A rug we certainly won't buy. And despite being in a shop filled with rugs we didn't get a chance to look at most of them. And so the quest continues! Next stops - IKEA, Freedom, Domayne and Carpet Right.

Summer

Saturday, January 03, 2009

tastes like pasta with asparagus and lemon. This probably has a much fancier name but I can't be bothered googling the ingredients to find it. So, let's just call it pasta con citron (which is french for lemon and probably not italian for lemon but let's not draw attention to my faults, OK?) and be done with it.
This has many things going for it -
it's delicious,
it's easy to make,
it can be eaten hot or cold,
if you don't have asparagus it's also good with zucchini, broccoli or peas,
and
the kids clean their plates.

Ingredients
1 cup of vegie stock
juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic
black pepper
2 bunches of asparagus
500g cooked penne
Method
lightly fry the garlic in a couple of tbsps of olive oil
add the stock and asparagus, simmer briefly to give the asparagus a bright green colour and remove from heat
add the penne and lemon juice, stir through and adjust seasoning to taste.

I served this with a spinach and avocado salad because I have a slight addiction to it and think it goes with everything.

In which I finally admit that this isn't a quilting blog

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Mr 4 had a tractor ride with papa when we went up north to spend a couple of nights with them after Christmas. He was in heaven! The kids adore going up to the farm but we don't make the trek very often. They had a wonderful and adventurous visit and are excited about going up again before the school holidays are over. I made sure I took lots of photos so that they can have fun reminiscing throughout the year.

Happy New Year to you all!

New Years Quiz

From All & Sundry
1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Met a blogger, taken 4 children grocery shopping, quilted a table runner.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I kept the ones I can remember and I will make more for this year. Increasing my fitness features every year and 2009 will be no exception. I am always optimistic!
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I had another baby in 2008 - you can't get any closer than that, a very close friend had a baby boy, Rohan, my sister-in-law had a baby girl, Katherine and a blog friend, Corrie had twins, Tillie and Finn.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
My nan died (aged 91) and Mr Duyvken's grandmother died (aged 91). I was very close to nan and miss her a lot. I kept seeing things in the weeks before Christmas that I thought she would like and for the first time I can remember did not need to buy any candied ginger to put in her Christmas stocking.
5. What countries did you visit?
There was no international travel this year. The flesh is willing but the bank balance is weak.
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Closer friendships.
7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Miss 0's birth, Mr 4's first day at pre-school, the phone call we got from sil to announce that after 12 years of marriage and 2 round of ivf she was pregnant.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I know I'm going on and on about it but Miss 0's birth seems like the right answer to this question.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I still haven't finished the baby quilt for Katherine!
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No, thank goodness.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
A broad brimmed hat that actually fits.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
G - our dearly loved G.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I'm not appalled or depressed by it but I am a little worried about mum. She pops in constantly and has a very hard year. Hopefully, next year she'll have an easier time.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Food and mortgage repayments. I love having mortgage repayments because it means we finally have a mortgage!
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Babies and fantasy decorating which is one of my favourite time-wasters.
16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Skinny marinki rinki dink
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:a) happier or sadder?b) thinner or fatter?c) richer or poorer?
a) happier, b)about the same, c) about the same
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Exercise, making afternoon tea for the kids, gardening
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying
20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my little family in the morning, my mum and sister in the afternoon and Greg's cousin and family in the evening. It was a lot of fun!
21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
I fall a little more deeply in love with Greg with each year that passes and I started a new love affair with JW last year but actually got to meet her in April.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
The Mentalist
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
LOL, not that I can think of!
24. What was the best book you read?
The Gathering by Anne Enright
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Esperanza Spalding
26. What did you want and get?
A healthy baby!
27. What did you want and not get?
A firm, flat tummy and dancer's thighs.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
No Country for Old Men
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
34 this year and I actually don't remember what I did but I am sure it was a lot of fun.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If mum hadn't popped in at 7:30 every morning.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
See, no 25. Trying to fit into my pre-baby wardrobe and make do with the few things that fit while I worked on making that happen.
32. What kept you sane?
Chats with Mr Duyvken, bloggers and morning coffees.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Hm, I don't think anyone really took my fancy this year.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
On the downside, the debacle that is the NSW premier's office and on the upside the election of Barack Obama and the fact that a woman is the Deputy Prime Minister.
35. Who did you miss?
I miss my sister, Elizabeth, who lives in Boston.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
I met Kim and Eleanor and that was delightful!
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
You have to make your own happiness.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
There was an old woman who lived in a shoe... OK that's not a song lyric but I've drawn a blank!

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