Monique and Tineke and their DIY henhouse in our suburban backyard

We are rebuilding our house in the heart of Antwerp, which implies that we have to live elsewhere for a while. This “while” now already lasts 3 years, and we suppose there will be another 2 years to come. Our whereabouts at the moment are in Deurne, a suburb of Antwerp, Belgium. It’s a tiny house, but ever so cosy. The best feature of our home is the backyard, which Pieter, my husband has tuned into a little heaven filled with roses, herbs, lavender, a cute little lawn and a little chicken paradise in the back.

The chicken house in the picture is DIY, made from pine wood, which was impregnated to make it wind and water resistant. With a fretsaw, Pieter created the chicken and heart design. The roof tiles are second hand. Inside the ladies mansion, he made a wooden box to serve as a nest and a stick  from one side to the other tot sleep on. It’s very important, to put ambiose, some sort of hemp, on the floor and in the nest of the henhouse, since it doesn’t attract vermin.

The chickens in the picture are Monique and Tineke, named after my mother and my mother in law. Everyday, Lili goes out in the yard and into the henhouse, to collect the eggs and proudly bring them to us. The eggs don’t always survive this trip, since she is still a bit clumsy in the realisation of this mission. In return for the eggs, we feed the ladies a plate full of grain and kitchen left-overs. Be careful not to feed them potato skins or too much bread.

This picture was taken by Greetje Van Buggenhout  for Het Nieuwsblad Magazine of december 2013. Petra De Pauw asked me for an interview in the series “Fashionmama’s”. She was tipped by Greetje about my interest in me and my daughters styling. I’ve been working together with Greetje for  photoshoots since I think seven years now. Lili was a bit cross at the time of this shooting, so we looked for the perfect location for her to be delighted with. She loves being amongst the chickens and likes fetching their eggs, so we took advantage of that situation to get her to strike a pose in front of Greetjes camera.

Lili is wearing a dress that her grandmother bought for her at Lola, stock sale for kids, Antwerp. Her cute icebear hat is H&M. I found the black rubber boots in a little shop in Zandhoven, Belgium. The owner was an old lady who sold her sock at that moment. I suppose her store must be closed by the time I’m writing this down.

I’m wearing my favourite cardigan with maribou bunny tail by Moschino. Got it at Rosier 41 in Antwerp. The white ankle boots are in fact my wedding shoes. I wore a very fragile wedding dress -excuse me, my mothers wedding dress- so the little boots countered this fragility. I’ve been wearing these shoes ever since our marriage, because they are so comfortable and stylish. I bought them at Elsa, Antwerp. Tights are Mediven Elegance compression tights, which make your legs feel light as a cloud during the day.

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