Archive for the ‘goddamn craft’ Category

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Cormac’s (age 6) inner demons bookmark for me.

The sketch I found in Lauca’s (age 10) bed.


The boyfriend leaves love notes for me.



Lauca’s quick sketches.




His first drawing for me.


When he drew for Cormac.



When he drew for Lauca.


When he quickly sketched me.





Cormac draws mythical creatures.


And foxes with anxiety.11939660_511054785735007_766073223_n



He said this is a Japanese female warrior.



Lauca’s drawings.




My old life drawings get frames.


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Home-made gifts (I know, ok).

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Ottolenghi recipes (I know, ok).

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Uncles helping with Lego gift assembly.

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And robot kit assembly.

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And other uncles winning board games.

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Previous posts on what December looks like in my world here.

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This year my resolution involves more beauty, more connection. That is, for just a year I will try prioritising both in my life, like they are needs. Like it is not enough to notice and enjoy them as they occur but that I may choose a direction or a moment over others simply because it will deliver either beauty or connection to me. That sometimes that choice would otherwise look frivolous or even reckless.

Fittingly, I then spent the beginning of 2016 travelling around Tasmania, me and my two children and the boyfriend that I now have. Doesn’t it sound strange to say you ‘have’ someone and doesn’t it seem strange to say boyfriend, at this stage? And who knows what else you find strange about that declaration. He’s appeared here and there on the blog already but this is still something of a coming out.

Some of the trip was also spent with family and friends and some of it was just the four of us, going happily crazy together in a little car.

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Picnic dinner outside a cabin with my brother. These nachos I cooked us tasted stupidly good after a day hiking in Cradle Mountain.

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Tasmania being, generally, ridiculously beautiful.

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Lauca and the boyfriend are two of the dots over on that rock island in the centre of the photo.

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And then because it is Australia, a wallaby comes up to the boyfriend on the beach.

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The boyfriend and I discovered Tasmanian Pinots. We drank them by fires in cabins, we drank them skinnydipping in an indoor pool at night, we drank them in caravan parks, we drank them on beaches.

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Lauca looking out to sea.

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And then I found Cormac looking out to sea, too.

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We did a lot of hiking. Big walks and big views are some of my favourite things in the whole world. The children mostly claim the same. And apparently, the boyfriend also acquired a taste for hiking somewhere along the way on our trip.

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And we swam a lot, even if it was cold. We found completely empty beaches and then a little more patience for the next leg of the trip. Cormac also found an incredible number of sticks that he in love with and amassed in the car as imaginary weapons.

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We also visited Port Arthur and the kids were, in turns, fascinated by and heartbroken by the history. We had lengthy discussions about inequality and the justice system and oh, how we did homeschool.

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Even now, with Lauca aged ten and Cormac six years old, I am still amazed by the powers of goddamn craft with my kids.

They were both quite tired, and frankly, rather shitty to be with until I squeaked them into the last convict peg doll making session available at the site and then, woah, little powerhouses of pep and gratitude after that for the rest of the day.

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The boyfriend proudly presents pizza he made and Internet he obtained for me one evening when I am feeling particularly wretched about the lack of solitude I am experiencing  while road-tripping with kids.

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The boyfriend sleeping.

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The wedding we attended at the MONA of one of my best friends. Cormac in the foreground watching the dance floor.

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Lauca with grown up hair at the wedding. Aw, little button.

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Oh, how MONA loves come and dicks and pussies and shit. Fortunately, Cormac is in a peak toilet humour stage.

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I went with the kids to stay at the beach on the weekend with our friends at their beach house. I don’t think I’ve ever arrived anywhere more worn out.

At one point my friend took my daughter to the shops with her while her teenage son took my four year old boy to play outside with him. I sat in front of a window, all by myself, looking out over the sea thinking I will just have a minute to take in the view and then I will finish reading this book I am reviewing. Two hours later I finally looked down from the sea to find the book in my lap.

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Cormac on the beach in the evening being very pensive.

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My friend’s teenage son helping Cormac cross the channel. It was deeper than we expected.

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Watching all the children swimming in the sea from my friend’s beach house verandah.

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Lauca and my friend’s daughter boogie boarding together.

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Horses in the sea.

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Cormac and one of our friends.

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Lauca learning to make twine as a form of active meditation. Yes.. that didn’t come from stressed out me.. that little intervention came from one of our friends. He’s Aboriginal and he taught her how to make a traditional form of string.

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At GOMA with the four year old, Cormac, and his sister.

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(Young children make surprisingly good company at art galleries, especially for viewing contemporary art.. because this).

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If you’re in Melbourne you can see Lily Mae Martin’s latest exhibition at the Scott Livesey Galleries. The opening is tonight, in fact. Lily Mae Martin is a past recipient of the Lionel Gell Traveling Scholarship and her drawings are divine.

She is interested in the relationship between art and motherhood, feminism, the domestic, identity and anatomy of the body. She is also a long-time reader of blue milk. You can read her own blog, here.


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a series of collages – an iconoclastic breakdown or dissection of the original image – that interrupts our relationship as spectators to images of distant suffering.

From here .  Seriously, this is a fascinating and challenging art piece, check it out.

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This link, “”Real” Orgasms” at the blog, Some Came Running might be considered slightly NSFW for language. The post is an interesting meander through the depiction of female orgasm on film and what an audience invests in its interpretation:

I sometimes wonder the extent to which the much-celebrated Katz’s Deli “I’ll have what she’s having” scene in Nora Ephron and Rob Reiner’s 1989 When Harry Met Sally affected the sex lives of the Joe and Josephine Popcorns, if you’ll excuse the phrase, who have seen it over the years. The scene is a classic for a reason; Meg Ryan’s Sally hoists Billy Crystal’s Harry by the petard of his own sexist presumption but good. But one reason the movie is as cozy a concoction as it is has to do with the fact that after the punchline, it never returns to the topic of female orgasm; the discomfort Harry feels after initially sleeping with Sally and then fleeing from her prior to the inevitable fateful facing of facts and return to romance has nothing to do with this particular facet of sexual or emotional exchange. Someone might expect, in the depiction of their growing intimacy, a query from the acceptably neurotic Harry along the lines of “how do I know you’re not faking it with me?” But the viewer is left to presume that they’ve worked that all out. Actually, given the way the movie progresses to its conclusion, my feeling is that the filmmakers were/are hoping that you’ve pretty much forgotten about the whole thing. This is When Harry Met Sally, not The Mother And The Whore. The viewer is meant to feel pleasant feelings, not particularly complicated or uncomfortable or unpleasant ones.

This idea as it pertains to comedy, and to romantic comedy, is changing—see Girls on the one hand, and the Hangover movies on the other (what they share in common is the view that pretty much all sexual relations are somehow predicated on hostility)—and it’s also changing as it pertains to drama, and romantic drama. The ideas change, but the issues of representation remain just as fraught. Next to race, the depiction of sexuality on screen is about the most fraught thing ever, and right now it is as fraught as  it ever has been. And critics, depending on their ideological perspective, direct and/or unique experience, or just plain contrarian pissiness (to name just three of what could be dozens of factors) will unpack a given work dealing with this representation in sometimes wildly divergent ways.


Thanks to JE for the link.

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