Anzac Day

Thursday, April 25, 2013


I took the little duyvkens for a bushwalk this morning. We are very lucky to have some great tracks just a short walk from our house and this is our favourite one. It leads to an oval which is a great spot for a picnic so we had a rest and ate some apples before heading over to Oma's house for lunch. I only snapped a few photos but I am glad I lugged the camera up and down the track because I love this photo of my two lads.
Mr Duyvken was at The Australian in Manhattan watching the AFL Anzac Day match and I was here with only my little ones and the sounds of the birds for company. Certainly two very different ways to mark Anzac Day. Lest we forget.

International Women's Day

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Yes, I know that was a while ago but I came across such a great photo on Lynn's blog that I was prompted to share my own photo. This was taken by one of our friends who, while attending parent/teacher night at his daughter's school was surprised to see my face up on the wall.


Turns out that his daughter (one of my wonderful god-daughters) had to do a project on a woman who inspires her for International Women's Day. She didn't pick Quentin Bryce or Dr Fiona Wood (they would have been much easier to research thanks to Google) she chose me. I was quite taken aback when I found out about it. Quite delighted too, of course. So, be good in all you do, dear reader, someone is always paying attention. 

WIP

Monday, April 22, 2013


A stroller quilt for a new baby boy. I made a quilt for his big sister (blogged here) so I really can't leave the little fellow waiting too long for one of his own.
Famous last words, right?

Sunshine after Rain

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Yesterday was a season turner. The rain was torrential and very cold. Hour after hour it poured from the dark sky beating all the warmth out of the air and leaving a chill behind. Today is sunny again but the warmth has not returned. Autumn has arrived.


The afternoon light streams in our bedroom window inviting me to lie down and to take a little nap but there are no naps for me at the moment. Mr Duyvken is away on a work trip and it is going well but I am missing that extra pair of hands on the weekend and having him here in the evenings. One week down, one week to go.
Next Sunday afternoon that beautiful light is all mine.

The 3 P's of Holiday Entertainment

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Puzzles, pinterest and playdates.



Rock Pockets

Friday, April 19, 2013


I finally finished the picnic quilt I've been working on. It is a very simple squares quilt, tied with embroidery thread and bound in brown gingham.


I couldn't resist the brown gingham. It took me right back to childhood when I saw it in my local quilt shop. I am sure I remember doing a simple cross stitch on a placemat sized piece of gingham that was exactly this shade of greyish brown sometime in the late '70s. It spoke to me in that wordless whispery way that fabric and books and babies sometimes do and I just had to have it. I really don't know what came over me, dear reader, but I bought several yards of it so you can expect to see it featuring here and there in future projects.


The quilt has a little fabric pocket at each corner that can be filled with stones or sand to help keep it weighted against any breezes that might pick up while we're picnicking. It has been dragged around the yard a lot this week so I'd say it's a success.


There is a tutorial here that does the rock pockets the same way I did.

Adjectives

Friday, April 05, 2013

On Wednesday afternoon Mum and I had a long conversation about whether or not cup of tea can be treated as a single noun for the purposes of adjective placement. For example, hot cup of tea or cup of hot tea? Mum was none too taken with my suggestion that in this instance 'cup of tea' is treated as a single noun and I am not simply offering a hot cup with tea in it. She pulled an english language reference book off the shelf but the section on nouns did not deal with this specific issue. However, when I woke this morning my first thought (sadly, I am speaking literally and not figuratively) was 'compound noun', two words that had escaped me when chatting with mum. A little bit of reading later (oh how I love the internet) and I came across this:

"An interesting property of most compounds is that they are headed. This means that one of the words that make up the compound is syntactically dominant. In English the head is normally the item on the right hand of the compound. The syntactic properties of the head are passed on to the entire compound. Thus, . . . if we have a compound like easychair which is made up of the adjective easy and the noun chair, syntactically the entire word is a noun."
(Francis Katamba, English Words: Structure, History, Usage, 2nd ed. Routledge, 2005)

Which made me think that cup of tea probably can be treated as a compound noun. I was a little concerned about the pluralisation (cup of teas is definitely wrong) but a little further reading reassured me that the plural appears within the compound, and not always at the end, of other accepted compound words (sisters-in-law, for example) so I am happy to state it as fact and hang my hat on it.

As you can probably guess that from the previous few paragraphs, I haven't been getting out as much as I like to recently but Sweetie and I changed that yesterday with a lovely long walk before picking up the big kids from school. The first 20 mins were just a stroll as Sweetie insisted on walking by himself,


stopping to smell the flowers and jump in puddles

but once his feet were wet he was happy to sit and enjoy the rest of the walk from the comfort of his stroller. It certainly did me good to raise my heart rate, breathe deeply and strain my muscles. It was just an hour but it was wonderful. I need to get back to my early morning exercise routine. I had forgotten how lovely the rewards are - well worth the price of getting out of bed while it is still cool and dark.
Sweetie is also a keen user of adjectives and has taken to describing the dinners I cook as 'very reasonable'. It certainly isn't glowing praise but, given my cooking skills, probably a fair assessment.

Renovations

Thursday, April 04, 2013


Welcome to the hallway. The grey wall up there in the middle of the picture is the new wall that I showed you yesterday. Mr Duyvken ripped out the cupboards along this wall and spent the Easter weekend replacing and repairing the ceiling, putting in an attic access ladder (although calling our roof space an attic is a bit of stretch as there is not enough room to stand up in there) and pulling out cornices. He's going to lay all new flooring in here too. I'm not sure how we'll manage that but he is confident that he can pull out the old floorboards and get the new ones laid without us needing to move out. That will be an interesting weekend, I'll let you know how we get along. He's a marvel so I am sure it can be done.

Renovations

Wednesday, April 03, 2013


Blackbird wanted a tour of the house which is understandable given the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the photos I've been sharing. Some days you get lush, green, finished looking scenes and other days the photos look more like a building site. The truth is that both are absolutely accurate portrayals of our house. We are nearly at the end of the renovation road but there is a still a lot of mess and dust and rubble to deal with before we are done so you'll forgive me if I tend to focus the camera lense on the prettier bits.
So, Blackbird, here's the first photo - Mr Duyvken putting up a wall to divide the original living/dining space at the front of the house into a living room and entry. The lovely new front doors are on the left of the photo and the sparks are flying because he is grinding the door frame for the sliding doors he's putting in. You will note that no dust sheets or protective eye wear were required. Mr Duyvken needs only steel-capped boots and a you tube tutorial to guide his hand. 

Easter

Tuesday, April 02, 2013





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