Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lazy cycle days

Although it's starting to get a teeny bit more difficult as the bump expands (and it seems to be growing very quickly at the moment!), I'm still loving riding my bike everywhere. I'm determined to do as the locals do and ride my trusty fiets for as long as possible! Whenever the weather is agreeable (which lately, hasn't been all that often) we love to get out on our new bikes and take them for a spin in the local forest.... A picnic lunch and a lazy cycle on a Sunday afternoon would have to be one of my favourite laid back activities in this country :-)

Some sewing adventures...

I haven't been posting as much lately but I have still been sewing like crazy - I've been teaching my visiting friend the fine art of how to work my (oh-so-dodgy) sewing machine and so we spent a bit of time wandering the fabric markets both here in Nijmegen, Den Bosch and Utrecht and whipping up various projects - including...

A frilly apron for moi (courtesy of a gorgeous Spotlight fabric gift pack from a friend back home) and a babushka apron & pj pants for Aurysia

I think someone likes her pj pants!

Some Stroopy shoes - oranje for our little Dutchie-to-be

More baby shoes

My first ever attempt at making baby pants!

I made 2 more pairs of baby pants (and knitted beanie/bootie and fabric painted tshirt) as gifts - this one for a friends new baby boy

And the second one - this time for our newest little nephew

A piggy bib & owl fabric painted tshirt for a friends baby girl

A Very Hungry Caterpiller themed gift for a little man turning 1

A Miffy wall hanging for our nursery

My first attempt at making fitted cot sheets - soooo easy to whip up and so much cuter then all the boring plain fabrics in the shops! So far I've made 2 sets but I have plans for many more!

A newborn nappy cover - intended to be worn with some Bonds singlets of course

My first attempt at baby pj pants - it didn't end so well as I cut the fabric wrong and had to substitute in another colour for half the legs... Oranje it was.

A frilly apron for a friends birthday - there are actually 2 of these, Aurysia loved it so much she made another one of out of the fabric scraps!

Some Stroopy overalls

And some kimono style pjs (yes, Stroopy will match the wall hanging!)
That's it for the last month but I have lots more in the works as per usual - somehow I don't think I will ever tire of sewing... :-)

Day tripping to some of my favourite cities

Amsterdam and Utrecht - my two favourite places in the Netherlands... I love any excuse to visit and having a friend here the last month was the perfect excuse for a couple of days wandering these beautiful old cities... Already looking forward to our next visit - perhaps we'll be pushing a pram next time though?!?!

My first visit to the Rembrandthuis museum

Photo time with one of Amsterdams pretty canals
Wandering the streets

Canal houses & houseboats - typical Amsterdam

A stork in Vondelpark

Picnic time...

Little garden behind in the Domkerk in beautiful Utrecht

Domkerk & tower

Man on a gondola!

Someone had gone to all the effort of knitting these cosies for the poles & lamposts - so pretty!

Photography lesson underway

Making our way home from the flower markets with some bargain tulips... The perfect ending to a day out in a Dutch city!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mastering the tandem fiets

While we were camping on Texel, Mitch and I braved a tandem fiets for the very first time. For the past year, I've admired people sailing along on these bikes and wanted to try it for myself - our cycle through the forests on Texel was our first opportunity to hire one of these beauties. The hire lady seemed surprised by my bump when we picked up the bike (25 weeks at that point) but I've been keeping really active the entire pregnancy - riding my bike every day, so really, how hard could a tandem be...

Taking off for the first time was... interesting! Thankfully I was on the back so didn't have to worry about gears or steering but timing the pedaling proved challenging... Before long, I discovered that I could just stick my feet out to the side and still convince Mitch I was assisting with moving our mighty bike along ;-)

It was lovely though riding through the cool forests and spotting some local dieren along the way - including plenty more sheep and some funny hairy (Highland?) cows...

It was definitely an experience and nowhere near as comfy as my new Gazelle (or even my old one!) - I was sore for days afterwards! But one of those must-do things whilst in the Netherlands... I'm happy to have ticked this one off my list :-)

A Texel getaway

Earlier this month we decided to head up north on a mini road trip and explore Texel Island. We had been wanting to go there for a while and so the arrival of our friend from Australia and a public holiday seemed like the perfect opportunity. Another Frisian island, all we had to compare Texel to was Ameland, which we visited ever so briefly last year with my Dad. In all honestly, Texel didn't quite compare to the beauty of its neighbour further north - it was much more populated and built up, whereas Ameland felt more quiet and natural. Despite this, it was still a lovely spot to re-experience camping in the Netherlands and have a break for a few days...

Cooking up pancakes after a nice sleep in (it seems that everyone sleeps in at Dutch campgrounds! 9am and it was still really quiet!)

Enjoying a wander along the beach & admiring the pretty beach shacks...

Watching the seals at Ecomare...

Taking a leisurely drive around the island - checking out some more beaches, a lighthouse and lots of sheep...

And a lovely cycle through the forest... After all - it wouldn't be a Dutch getaway without some fietsen!


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