love and domestic goddessery in a cold climate

Sunday, July 22, 2012

the end of the sky

It's been five weeks since we found out, and the very next day I began a project to celebrate my precious, longed-for pregnancy and commemorate it with appropriate ritual and symbolism.

Ritual and symbolism have always been important to me, as sources of comfort and as means of making sense of things I don't understand. I think that's what draws me occasionally to organised religion, although that sort of exploration inevitably ends with me realising  -  again  -  that I can never reconcile my intellectual life with codified faith.


This project would be a knitted blanket for my beautiful new baby; a blanket knitted one line every day of my pregnancy, the colour of the sky that day  -  a blanket of blues and greys and whites that would keep my tiny baby warm with all the colours that I watched overhead as she grew inside me.

The sky in Hobart is different every day. There are some days when the white clouds are so sharp and bright that the purity of them hurts your eyes. There are some days that are thin and pale with a washed-out blue that you can almost see through. There are some days when the Matisse blue is as fresh and clear as the sky in the pictures of treasured childhood storybooks, and some days when the grey rolls in, heavy and cold and comfortable all at once. Every day is different, and every day is beautiful.

These are the lines of the sky that I have knitted.

These are the only lines I will knit.

My baby has died.

The sky has fallen in. The colours are all gone. I know that things will get better, but they are not better yet.

I don't want to write about my loss. This is not the place to do that. But I'm not ready, either, to carry on as before. I just can't do that yet. So I'm not going to write here anymore, at least, not for a long while. I'm going to let this blog lie fallow, and try to focus on putting my world back together.

Thanks for reading.

Rin x

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Erm... hello.

Yes, I am still here...

although the aim of posting every week seems to have taken a bit of a hit.


I do have an reason, though. Or maybe it's an excuse. Either way, I've been working on a big important project over the last month. It's a work in progress; do you want to see what I've done so far?

I made...


It's a double line!

I made a double line!

So, that's very exciting, I think. Prepare for a whole big bunch of baby-type craftiness over the coming months.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

chalkboard table

We got a new dining table!

Just look at this magnificent beast!

Our old table was still in fine condition, just too small for our needs, so I reclaimed it to make a new space for Max's craft and drawing time (based on this idea, found on Pinterest. Oh, Pinterest! I was late to the party, but how I love you now).

The materials, aside from the table, were a metre of blackboard fabric from Spotlight, and a couple of rolls of gaffer tape (Girls' Best Friend, tm). Easy as!

The blackboard fabric was too narrow to cover the whole table, hence all the tape. I centred the fabric on the table and held it down with silver gaffer:


surrounded that with a line of black gaffer:

and finished it off with another line of silver:

and that was it! I put it together while watching Saturday morning RAGE (read: yelling at the "stars" to put more clothes on and learn to sing properly, because I am a massively old lady), this took maybe five songs. That's roughly fifteen or twenty minutes; not bad for a spankin' new space for all of Maxi's paper and crayons and chalk and playdough and pipecleaners and all the rest  -  

-  although knowing us,  it'll just become yet another surface for piles of laundry and books.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

raincloud mobile

Happy Mothers' Day!

Although my babies will always be my babies, I don't really have any tiny wee babies in my life right now. However for some reason, I was struck with the urge to make a baby mobile.

I decided on a soft plush cloud as the main part, with raindrops hanging down, and then thought, why not raindrops in a rainbow of colours?

Why not, indeed.

I made a few stencils and cut out the shapes from poplin,

sewed each one most of the way around with (tiny tiny!) blanket stitch, stuffed them and sewed them closed  -  first the cloud

and then the raindrops.

How cute do they all look together?! Ahh.

I strung the raindrops from the cloud, 

wondered who I could possibly give it to as a new-baby gift, and then for some reason...

made two more.


Anybody want a raincloud mobile?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

zodiac nightlight

My nephew Huon's birthday was last week, and I used some of my gorgeous new Spoonflower fabric to make him a wall light in the pattern of the Aries constellation.

I trimmed the fabric to a 45cm square, and stapled it to a 16"x16" stretched canvas:

(incidentally, I love my staplegun. I'd always put off buying one because I thought they were super expensive, but this one was $16ish from Spotlight. Yay!)

When the fabric square was stapled taut, I turned it over and pierced the circles that signify the stars,

and through each piercing I pushed one of the LEDs of a string of battery-operated Christmas lights.

(I had a moment of panic when  -  obviously  -  I couldn't find Christmas lights for sale in Hobart in April, but eBay came through for me. Yay again!)

When all the lights were in I taped the spare ones with black gaffer (so they wouldn't shine through the canvas) and taped the battery compartment onto the back bottom corner. This is how it looks with the lights off:

and on:

Max and I wrapped it up and posted it in time for Huon's birthday,

where, I hear, it was excitedly received.

All up, the time it took was as long as half-watching an episode of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries with Whitby on the couch next to me  -  that's around 50 minutes.

I was so pleased with it that I'm thinking about making them for my etsy shop. What do you think?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

triple chocolate brownies

It was Friday the 13th on... er... Friday, and although we didn't do much in the way of spookiness, I did put chocolate bats on top of the brownies I made.

That counts, right?


I think it counts.

This is how you make 'em:

125g butter
200g dark chocolate
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 plain flour
150g white chocolate bits
150g milk chocolate bits

Melt the butter and the dark chocolate over a saucepan of simmering water, then cool slightly. Stir in the sugar and the eggs, then fold through the flour and the chocolate bits. Cook in a greased and lined tin at 160oC for about as long as it takes to read "The Cat in the Hat" to Max, five times in a row.

(For those playing at home, that's about 45 minutes.)

Let them cool right down before you take them out of the tin  -  I know it's hard, but if you're impatient they just collapse and fall apart and then you have to crumble them up in a bowl and eat them with icecream  oh noes!
 Ahem. Where was I?

Oh yes. After you let them cool in the tin, cut them into 16 squares and pour melted dark chocolate over 8 and melted white chocolate over the other 8. Top the white ones with dark chocolate bats (I use this  mould for the bats) and the dark ones with the white bats.

I'm not even kidding, these will blow your mind. Best brownies ever!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

easter eggs

What's this? Another blog?

Erm... yes. Another blog.

I know I've not been the most diligent at updating my other blogs, but I always do start out wi
th the best intentions. This one, though, I think I really can follow through on. Yay!

The name and concept were suggested by the lov
ely Essie one morning when she and her husband were over for brunch at ours, and I'd made waaay too much, as usual. That was a little while ago now, but here we are.

So let's start with what I made today!

It's Easter, and I know the kids will go mad on all the chocola
te, they don't need me offering them any more... but the idea of not having something special for breakfast - well, that's just not how I roll.

So I decided to trick them, and provided for breakf
ast a very austere carton of plain hardboiled eggs. Willow was a little suspicious but dug in anyway. They were delighted to find...

rainbow jelly eggs!

(Oops - we'd polished off three before I remembered to take a photo.)

It was Max's first taste of jelly, I think it blew his mind. Even Whitby deigned to try them and beneath the cool exterior, I've a suspicion he liked them too.

This is how I did them:

1. I used a corkscrew to piece a hole in the top of the egg - I've nev
er done that before so I tried it over the sink while half-expecting the egg to explode in an icky mess, but it was actually surprisingly neat.

2. With a chopstick I broke up the yolk inside the s
hell so I could pour the egg out through the hole,

3. then I sterilised the shells by boiling and baki
ng them.

4. The jellies were red, blue and yellow originally: Roughly, half of the red went in two eggs, half of the yellow in two, half of the blue in two. Then the remaining
red I split in two and mixed half with half the remaining yellow to make orange and half with half the remaining blue to make purple. The last two halves of yellow and blue combined to make green.

Umm, that was unnecessarily confusing. What I meant w

i.a) 340ml red = 2 x 170ml
i.b) 340ml yellow = 2 x 170ml
i.c) 340ml blue = 2 x 170ml

ii.a) 1 x 170ml red = 2 x 85ml red eggs
ii.b) 1 x 170ml yellow = 2 x 85ml yellow eggs
ii.c) 1 x 170ml blue = 2 x 85ml blue eggs

iii.a) 170ml red = 2 x 85ml
iii.b) 170ml yellow = 2 x 85ml
iii.c) 170ml blue = 2 x 85ml

iv.a) 85ml red + 85ml yellow = 2 x 85ml orange eggs
iv.b) 85ml yellow + 85ml blue = 2 x 85ml green eggs
iv.c) 85ml blue + 85ml red = 2 x 85ml p
urple eggs

Max was watching intently as I measured these
all out - this is totes how I'm teaching him maths.

5. They set overnight in the muffin tin, then in the
morning I placed them upside down in the old egg carton.

(after I took this photo, I rubbed the coloured stain off the eggtops to hide the evidence.)

So this was our Easter breakfast! I know, I know. Not the healthiest. But pretty cute!

...and all that was left were the shells.