Organisation

Saturday, July 21, 2012



The little Duyvkens are not early risers so our mornings often feel a little frantic. I've been trying to find a way to help them run more smoothly and when I stumbled across something similar to this on Pinterest (of course) I thought it might work for us. We pulled out the stash of craft paper this afternoon and put these together. After running them through the laminator they are strong enough to hold the pegs and should stand up to regular use. Because the kids all share a room they won't be practical as door hangers but I am going to put a few hooks up in the laundry wall and hang them where they are easy to access in the mornings. The idea is that they move the pegs from one side to the other as each task is done. Hopefully, they'll be obsolete within a few months as the practice of doing all these things each morning become routine.
Clearly, I'm an optimist. 

Carrot Cake

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I never understand people who claim not to like cakes or desserts. I guess I understand preferring savoury things to sweet things but to actually take a permanent stand about never eating dessert makes no sense to me at all. In fact, were you to make that statement to me I would probably wonder how much I could trust you. Or I would start thinking that perhaps you were being a little passive-aggressive and suggesting that I shouldn't be eating dessert either. So, a word of advice: should we ever meet and you don't want dessert say something non-committal about simply not feeling like it right now.
 We had My Duyvken's only brother and his gorgeous wife over for dinner on Sunday night and I baked carrot cake. I had been craving carrot cake all week so it was the perfect excuse to make it. I stacked the cakes atop one another with cream cheese icing in between and then slathered the whole thing in more cream cheese icing before decorating it with walnuts. It was very decadent and very delicious.
 In fact, it was so good that I made another one yesterday to give to a friend who recently had a baby, a beautiful boy named Denver. It is well documented that I like to trade food for newborn cuddles. I used the same recipe as on Sunday night but I made two separate cakes this time and kept one for us. We had a midnight feast (at 8:30 - got to love having young children) and the kids were beside themselves with the excitement of staying up late and eating cake. Apparently, it didn't last long at Denver's house either.

  • Carrot Cake
  • Ingredients
  • Cake
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup golden syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • Icing
    Icing sugar mixture
  • 270g cream cheese
  • vanilla bean paste

  • Method
  • Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease 2 20cm round cake pans lightly with oil, and line with non-stick baking paper. * Peel and grate the carrots, and set aside. Sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon into a large bowl.
  • * Put the brown sugar, oil, golden syrup, eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl. Mix until combined.
  • * Pour the oil mixture into the dry ingredients. Use a wooden spoon to stir gently until just combined. Stir in the grated carrot and walnuts
  • * Pour the mixture into the two tins and bake for 16 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Set aside for 5 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • * Beat the cream cheese and vanilla paste, adding enough icing sugar to make the icing your desired consistency and taste. This is quite individual but I like my icing to still taste very much like cream cheese so don't add too much icing sugar. 

Ben 10 Jacket Tutorial

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My nephew and godson is a die hard Ben 10 fan. He just turned 5 and for the past year I don't think I have seen him, even once, when he hasn't been wearing some form of Ben 10 merchandise. Something about that show/character has really captured his imagination and he loves to pretend that he is defeating the alien hordes with a team of friends. His birthday was in June and as it was coming up we knew that his gift had to be Ben 10 related but we weren't sure what to get. Eventually, I found a green top in Target (in the school wear section)and decided to try my hand at refashioning it so that he could have his very own hero jacket that would also be warm and practical enough for everyday wear. 

I don't have any pictures of the process but what I did was pretty straight forward. I unpicked a small section of the seams at the shoulder and on one sleeve to stitch in the cotton tape stripes and then closed the seams up again. I cut the jumper down the front and inserted (rather clumsily) a zipper. And I found some great patches online to make it look a little more official and little less 'made by my aunty'. 


Apparently, he loves it and has even kissed the omnitrix patch a few times. Yes, he actually kissed it, that just made my heart sing when I heard about it. 
This was so easy to do (once I overcame my fear of zippers) and the end result is much more practical than so many of the costumes that are sold so please take my encouragement and give it a go yourself.

Great ideas and the people who come up with them

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

With thanks to Corrie who links to Sew Liberate who links to Penny Carnival, I came across a great solution to book and toy storage for the bunks.

I'll be making some of these this weekend.


Blown Away - Creativity

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I often browse photography exhibitions and collections, I enjoy seeing the choices that people make regarding what they frame within their picture and the stories that they aim to express. I read about the lenses that they're using, the light they seek out and try to steal some of that knowledge for myself. A lot of this wandering around online and in galleries is very inspiring but occasionally I am struck dumb.
I know that not all these photos are unique but remind yourself that he was17 or 18 at the time.
I can't stop looking at them.
Alex Stoddart 365 project

Alex Stoddart website

Seriously.
It pleases me greatly to know that he is not wasting his youth.

Quilting with a view

Monday, July 09, 2012

I took the kids up north late last week to spend a couple of nights with Mr Duyvken's parents. They live on a little farm on a lake. Two of my sisters-in-law had also gone up so all the cousins were together and the kids all had a ball.
the best looking servo in NSW

We had a ridiculously long drive up there. There had been an accident earlier in the day on a single lane stretch of the highway (thankfully everyone was OK) and the clean up took such a long time that we spent 7 hours in the car instead of the usual 3 1/2 hours. Of course, the kids were all busting to go to the toilet. I have never been so glad to see the  petrol station at Bulahdelah. In fact, I was so glad to see it I took a photo. The queues for the toilets were LONG but we made it!

 It was cold but we had beautiful sunshine after a long rainy night. Sweetie enjoyed playing in all the muddy puddles and practicing his walking.
Sweetie's little piece of heaven
 I even squeezed in a little quilting while supervising the kiddos and reading books to JW. C's scooter quilt is nearly ready to be bound, I'm looking forward to finishing this one, I am really happy with how it is turning out.
Quilting with a view

Midnight Feasting

Saturday, July 07, 2012

I found a truly irresistible cake on pinterest last week and couldn't wait to try it. I started baking it after all the kids were in bed and by the time it was cool enough to stack and ice it was nearly 10:30 but sitting down to a wedge of fresh chocolate fudge cake at 11pm with Mr Duyvken was a lot of fun. (We're easy to please).
I wasn't able to get the lovely glossy frosting that she made.... I guess that just means I will have to try again.




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