Tokens of Love

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sweetie left a yogurt heart on the wall for me. I made him watermelon hearts. A fair exchange don't you think?

A diamonds quilt for Zara

Saturday, March 16, 2013

As anticipated, I stepped back when this was finished and though to myself, 'hey, that's better than I thought it was going to be.'

My niece saw me working on C's scooter quilt and fell in love with the soft minky backing. She really wanted one all for herself so she picked some fabrics from the stash (all pink, the brighter the better) and I promised to make her a quilt.
The design was dictated by the fabrics that I had on hand, several of the prints she chose were relatively small pieces that I had left over from other projects and I really wanted to use all the ones she had picked so I went with simple half-square triangles with a little scrap of fabric on the white corner. The big squares are 'perfect' and the small squares are fractured shapes. She'll be able to find all the fabric pieces that she picked if she looks closely enough at those smaller shapes. 

The white fabric was a bit tricky to work with. It is an old doona cover that I cut up and it has quite a bit of stretch. At times I wasn't sure if it would sit flat at all but it turned out OK. Minky backing is always a little tricky to work with because it is so soft and slippery. I spray basted before adding the quilt ties this time and it definitely helped.

Bound in pink polka dots, washed and dried so that it is perfectly crinkly and soft and ready to snuggle. I even found this bag (from one of Aunty S's european work trips) to put it in.

We drove over and left it on the doorstep so that it would be waiting for her when she got home from school yesterday. I hope she thinks it's been worth the wait!

Keep Showing Up

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mr Duyvken is slumming it on a conference for work at the moment and I have pulled out all the bits and pieces that will be Zara's quilt. I'm at that frustrating stage I reach with everything I sew/write/make where I am convinced it is going to be very ordinary and not worth all the effort I have put in thus far. Perhaps I have to go through this stage so that when it is finished I can step back thinking 'hey that's better than I thought it was going to be' but I don't like this stage. It always slows me down. There's a quote I really like from a Ted Talk that I always think of when I am at this particular bit of quiltmaking - “‘Ole!’ to you, just for having the sheer human love and stubbornness to keep showing up.” 
That talk is about creative genius and I am certainly not making that claim about my very domestic quilts but the description of the process of persistence in the face of mediocrity that leads to a satisfying outcome is a good one.
In this particular case stubbornness is ably assisted by a sweet niece who regularly asks me if her blanket is done yet. Not long now, dear Zara, aunty duyvken is just going to keep showing up until it's finished. 
The Ted Talk is by Elizabeth Gilbert and you can find it here.

With a hand outstretched...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Some folks I know have a movie coming out this week. It's very exciting and a little nerve-wracking. I don't know much about how these things work but apparently ongoing distribution and marketing budget depends on the audience numbers over the opening 4 days. With this in mind they are working hard to generate interest and one of the ways they are doing that is through the facebook page. I hope you'll help out by 'liking' this page. There is a competition coming up for you songbirds and plenty of clips of Ronan and the glorious Magda for the rest of us. I have a feeling 'not now Napoleon' is going to catch on around here.



Monday, March 11, 2013

Recently I babysat the child of one of the children I used to babysit. We had a lovely night together, her and I, sitting in the same house I used to sit in many years ago with her daddy and aunt. She missed her mama but I wore my baby charmer necklace (which is an older version of this) and it worked it's magic. Lots of cuddles, some singing and a walk around the block and I had her eating out of my hand (well, sitting happily on my lap) before too long.
Life doesn't present many opportunities to revisit times past and I am very grateful to have been given this one. It brought to mind one of Mary Oliver's lovely poems -
In the morning the blue heron is busy
stepping, slowly, around the edge of the
pond. He is tall and shining. His wings, folded
against his body, fit so neatly they
make of him, when he lifts his shoulders and begins to rise
into the air, a great surprise. Also
he carries so light the terrible sword-beak. Then
he is gone over the trees.
I am so happy to be alive in this world
I would like to live forever, but I am
content not to. Seeing what I have seen
has filled me; believing what I believe
has filled me.
The first words of this page are
hardly thought of when the bird
circles back over the trees; it floats down
like an armful of blue flowers, a bundle of light
coming to refresh itself again in the black water, and I think:
maybe it is or it isn't the same bird-maybe it's
the first one's child, or the child of its child.
What I mean is, our deliverance from Time
and the continuance, if we only steward them well,
of earthly things. So maybe it's myself still standing here, or
someone else, like myself hot with the joy of this world, and
filled with praise.


Blackbird was correct in her assumption that we didn't miraculously transform the front yard. I have just been selectively taking photos of the finished bits. The backyard is relatively free of construction materials so that's what you've been seeing. This is the engagement party on Saturday night. We were lucky with the weather and, apart from a few people's chair legs sinking into the lawn, it all went beautifully. 

JW drew this portrait as the centrepiece of a garland the little duyvkens made. Don't they look happy? There's lots to love about love.

Bathing Babies

Friday, March 08, 2013

Mr Duyvken shared this with me a few weeks ago. It is mesmerising and I keep rewatching it to enjoy the blissful expressions on the babies' faces, the gentle assuredness of the woman bathing them and the wonder that is spending time with a newborn. I hope you enjoy it, dear reader, as much I have.
Happy weekending.


Thursday, March 07, 2013

 Made using Michael Miller bandana fabric panels. The gyspy jewel colour way is my favourite.

 NB you can see a little of the still unpainted fence on the right hand side of that photo.


Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Remember when I didn't get around to making a paper tent for the top of Sweetie's campfire cake? Well, yesterday C was playing with this. A lalaloopsy campout tent. I had completely forgotten that we had this and it would have fit perfectly on top of the cake. I'll have to remember it for next time. JW seems to like the idea of a forest cake so I might be making it again in April for her 5th birthday. Hopefully, having put it here will help me to remember it.

Sweet Relief

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

We are enjoying seeing sunshine after so much rain. We've been pulling weeds, planting things, swimming, and enjoying shadows and dappled light. There's more rain forecast so we are soaking it up while we can.

Sweetie turns 2

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Sweetie turned 2 and two of his cousins celebrated birthdays as well so we had a big party during the week to celebrate. I made a campfire in the forest cake for the 7, 3 and 2 year olds. There is supposed to be a little tent there next to the fire and a proper ribbon wrapped around the sides but I ran out of time. 

We had carrot cupcakes on the evening of his birthday and Aunty S is coming over to celebrate with us tonight so we'll have yet another cake. Celebrating birthdays is a serious business around here!
Can you believe that I wrote this post 2 years ago?
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Heart full.

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