Book Week

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

J went as the tall man from the Niland book, The Tall Man and the Babies. 1 roll of cardboard, some coloured paper curls, a red skivvy and jeans = Easiest costume ever!

Special days

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's been a very busy week here at the Duyvken House.
The day before Sweetie's half birthday I had a birthday too. Not as exciting as a half birthday, of course, but delightful nonetheless.
And on the day of Sweetie's half birthday Mr Duyvken and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. We got a babysitter, went to a little mexican restaurant by the beach and then sat on the sand looking at the ocean and the stars. It was a couple of days before I could bring myself to shake the sand off my party shoes. I had enjoyed walking past them and smiling to myself.
 And then tonight, G had her 11th birthday. We celebrated last night with Mr Duyvken's parents, this evening with my mum in the hospital and tonight with our little family. What did the birthday girl want for dinner? Cauliflower and pea soup with toasted turkish bread and, raspberry and custard teacake for dessert. And what did the birthday girl want as a gift? Pentominoes, books and a Westfield gift card. She's a very unique little thing. I'm so glad she's mine.

Operation Pinterest

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Turning 6 months old is a big deal around here, we always celebrate the 1/2 birthday with a cake and a little party. It helps to ease the pain of knowing that those wonderful newborn months are definitely behind us and that Sweetie is definitely enjoying babyhood. Things were a little different this time around with mum being in hospital and renovations continuing to require most of Mr Duyvken's time but I had seen a very cute cake on pinterest and decided to call Operation Pinterest into action once again. So here is,
Project #2 A beautifully decorated Cute as Button cake from Misobakes. Keep in mind that she has had a lot more practice than I have before you look at the photo of mine, OK?

 Isn't it adorable? And here is the Duyvken version;
just a single layer, with a cardboard sign made by G, baked with assistance from G and JW, we only used 3 colours for the buttons and didn't bother with royal icing at all. But it was very quick to make and, with a little finessing, could look really wonderful.
We took it up to the hospital and had a little half birthday celebration with mum and Aunty S. It wasn't the traditional half birthday celebration, and I know that mum would have much preferred to be celebrating at our house, but we had a lovely time. And the half birthday boy? Delighted!

Red Boots

Friday, August 26, 2011

Operation Pinterest

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I love Pinterest, but don't want to fall into the habit of collecting lots of wonderfully inspiring pictures and ideas but not using them.
That's where Operation Pinterest comes in - don't just pin it; do it, make it, try it, buy it!
Who's in?
Project #1
The aesthestically pleased pinterest photo - Things to Find on our Walk
and the Duyvken version, waxed cardboard cups anyone?

Social Responsibility

Friday, August 19, 2011

This is an ad for a clothing company called New Love Club. Roger David sells their clothes here in Australia and distributed this ad to their email subscribers this week. As a response to complaints made by some of those subscribers to the Advertising Standards Bureau the ad has been pulled, but not before Roger David attempted to defend this image.Yep, this image.
Take it all in because you are not going to believe what Roger David thinks it conveys. I suggest you clear a section of desk so that you can bang your fist against it in rage in a moment. Ready, dear Reader?
It said: "New Love Club (a British menswear company) produced the image of the woman as a comment on youth and the national debt that now rests on their shoulders and as an ironic patriotic comment on capitalist recruitment and identity." And it said, "the woman was fully clothed and that the ad did not portray sex, sexuality or nudity."
I call bullshit, Roger David. Bullshit.
Did New Love Club feed you that line or did you come up with that yourselves in a board meeting over coffee and tiny bagels?
Objectifying women is not a way to participate in a discussion about national debt.
Labelling a woman with a barcode and the word SLAVE does not invite the viewer of this image to ponder questions of capitalist recruitment.
Stuffing a teenager's mouth with the Union Jack is not an ironic patriotic comment on anything. It renders her incapable of participating in the 'comments' you claim to be making and alludes to oral sex so overtly that your claims that the image is not sexual would be laughable if they weren't so disturbing.

You peddle offensive, objectifying, violent images of women to young men and the comments made in reponse to the ASB's ban on this ad shows that your company does this intentionally. I hope you are ashamed of what you are doing. I hope that the backlash in response to this particular ad is strong. I hope that the mothers and girlfiends who buy clothes for the young men in your target demographic stop shopping at Roger David as a result of this.

The fact that no New Love Club clothes appear in this ad hardly seems worth mentioning, but I'll throw it in anyway. That I will never spend a penny at Roger David is hardly worth mentioning either, you can take that as read.

We need to treat each other well, we need to support young men and women to make good decisions, we need young men and women to know that this picture is offensive and not just to see it as part of their social wallpaper. One of the worst things about this is knowing how many hands this must have gone through before it became the advertising image for this brand. We need fewer messages like that and more messages like this.
I don't like having to explain objectification to my 10 year old but she can't enter her teens thinking this is a societal norm. Teach your kids well!

Pinks and Greens

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I got this word verification field yesterday. Can you guess what my mum's name is? Yes, with an E just like Anne of Green Gables.

If I was superstitious.....


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Petit à petit l'oiseau fait son nid.
We are digging and painting, hanging doors and balancing budgets. Things don't always go to plan and sometimes things are broken but, given that my first reaction was to comment on how pretty it looked in the afternoon light and grab the camera, I think I am coping pretty well. My mother hasn't been well - it came upon her very suddenly and gave us quite a fright. She had surgery today and it went well. She will need to be in hospital for a couple of weeks and may need further treatment after that but things are starting to look brighter. This time last week we were all feeling pretty grim. Please keep her in your thoughts. Little by little she will be regaining her strength and will need all the support she can get. The phone has been ringing off the hook tonight with family, friends and neighbours all wondering how today went. She's well-loved, that's for sure!
She has never been a smoker but has something that is much more common among smokers and it must have been playing on her mind because this morning after, having a pill to keep her calm before the surgery (oh how I would have loved a little pill like that to calm me), she shared a funny little memory.
After finishing school and before saving enough to go to university she worked at the NSW Electricity Commission. This was in the 1960's when women were only allowed to write in pencil and smoking indoors was de rigeur. She sat opposite a man who smoked almost constantly and would record how long it took to smoke each cigarette. He kept a notepad on his desk and recorded the start and finish time for each smoke. Mum doesn't know what he did with this information but I imagine him as a chronic data collector unable to do anything without tallying it up. I wondered if he also did this in bed (dear Reader, I know you were thinking the same thing so don't look at me like that) but I didn't share that observation with mum :-)

A cup of tea?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Well, dear readers, if you ever need a little self-esteem boost buy some tea and hold a giveaway! I got the most delightful bunch of comments and it was very hard to pick a winner but I really can't go past Suse's comment.
She wrote:
Oh how I adore your endearing, creative, inspiring yet touchingly honest blog dear Duyvken. Congratulations on 500 magnificently photographed and eloquently written posts (complete with superlative punctuation and unblemished grammar). Here's to a long and glorious future of understated, commercial-free, gentle yet clever humour and adorably wholesome baby pictures. I raise my elegantly etched and modestly filled champagne flute to the glory that is Duyvken.
(Was that nauseatingly ingratiating enough? I have a giveaway on my blog too, so feel free to reciprocate ;)

Was that natuseatingly ingratiating enough? Hm, yes it was! Congrats Pea Soupers, I look forward to imagining you sitting in your mud brick house, sipping tea, listening to one of your boys playing the cello, and knitting something fabulous.
PS I included the oxford comma just for you, Suse.
You're welcome.

Kurt Vonnegut

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Humanism should be our over-arching morality, wouldn't that be wonderful? And very achievable. Here's hoping!
I am looking for a source so that I can give the artist the credit they deserve. Isn't it a wonderful print?
Edited to add - the print is by Tim Doyle. Many Thanks to Blackbird for finding it. I should have known the guru would have it at her fingertips.


Thursday, August 04, 2011

'Renovator's still life with magnolias'.
I have been thinking about the act of blogging recently and appreciating how it has been such a constant for me over the past few years. Even when weeks are crazy and I barely speak to anyone outside of the school yard there are blogs to visit, comment boxes to be part of, beautiful photos, quilts, knits and crafts to admire and glimpses of family life too. I've been able to share the arrival of new little duyvkens, my attempts at quilting and photography and lots of little anecdotes. In a life that is child-heavy (and happily so, dear Reader) it has been a very welcome source of adult company. I've made some wonderful friends, have become part of a Sydney-wide crafting community and have been able to stretch my creative wings.
There has been much discussion this year about the growth of a new type of blogging that is commercial rather than journalistic (I mean that in a Dear Diary kind of way and not a Good Morning Modesto kind of way). Reading posts from Blogopolis this past weekend and lots of Nuffnang sponsored posts over the past 12mths have made me ask what I am trying to do. Time and again I come to the answer that I am not producing an online magazine, I am merely diarising publicly and participating in an online craft community. I adore some of the sponsored blogs and value the financial opportunity that it offers to some bloggers (honestly, will someone please give Kim the column writing opportunity that she deserves?!) but this little space doesn't lend itself to that and so will remain a diary of sorts. It will be what it has always been - a rather difficult to define show and tell conversation pit.
I wanted to mark the 500th post by throwing a little party with streamers, balloons and cake that gets squished underfoot and then walked across the carpet, but let's skip that part and go straight to the post-party peace that descends as the children slip into a sugar coma on the couch and we sit amongst the detritus nursing a mild headache and holding a cup of tea. I saw these beautiful boxes at the supermarket and couldn't resist buying them for you. If the organic tea is as delicious as the boxes are beautiful then they'll be quite special. It would be lovely to drink a cup out of a hand-thrown and delicately glazed mug but Woolworths do not stock such things so I picked the first thing I saw in the kitchenware aisle that kind of matched the boxes in the few seconds I had before the children tried to grab mugs too.
So, if you would like to win this delightful prize leave me a suitably ingratiating congratulatory comment. I'll pick a winner at the beginning of next week. Readers from everywhere welcome!

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