reduce, re-use, recycle


Haasch lamp - Junk-IT 2006

The ladies of hml love recycling, and if we can refigure, re-wire or re-invent a piece of rubbish into a nifty craft work then we are very, very happy campers. Call it the great tradition of Australian invention, call it suburban arte povera, or just call us cheap, we just cant help ourselves.

Serious reverse garbage officiandos like ourselves just cant walk past a peice of rusted tin, broken tennis ball or tree cutting without wondering what we could make out it. It appears that this is not just a southern state phenomenon. And seeing as at least one of the hml team is currently on tour interstate enjoying the tropics we thought it only proper that we feature something on our northern neighbors...

Rebecca Ward - Junk-IT 2006

Junk-IT is an exhibition being held by Brisbane's Reverse Garbage and "will feature lamps, handbags, jewellery, clocks, key rings, note books, even an interactive shooting gallery sculpture, all crafted from computers parts that were destined for landfill". A most excellent sounding show, and well worth a visit.

296 Montague Road West End - until August 12


oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Well here I am in (finally) sunny queensland enjoying the extra cheap pokie club drinks, and let me tell you there's a lot of kooky beach related craft and cement figurine work decorating this here beachside town. I might even go so far as to say that this is the home of the gnome, not too mention the tyre swan, concrete kangaroo and pink flamingo... and i'm loving it.

While all of the kitsch has been a delight, the most important personal hml moments came while visiting my Nanna. I've coveted her knitting bag for years, and she finally deemed me worthy enough to take it (it was a very special intergenerational crafting moment). Apart from being a very handy knitting bag, it's a super crafty family heirloom as she hand dyed and spun the yarn herself, and then knitted it up in the early 60's (four years after emigrating to Australia), and apprently my pop made the bamboo handles. She also gave me a"festival of Britain" embroidery sampler of she made in 1951, and some beautifully fine crochet lace made by my great-grandmother when she was sixteen. Priceless, and very swoon worthy.

Nana is part of a pensioner posse of crafters that meet twice a week over tea and sandwhiches. I came upon a stack of pieces made by said posse on sale at her retirement village at ridiculously low prices. I quickly snaffled this owly tea cosy for Ramona. There are clearly some very talented crafters on-site, and although I didn't get to meet her, Nana told me one of her friends is 90 and still making the most beautiful pulled thread embroidery you can imagine, even with arthritis and failing eyesight.

Now that's what I call living a handmade life.


HML on location

Ok I'm here, finally I managed to get both my Father and my boyfriend off the damn computer long enough to get a chance to say HELLO from HERVEY BAY!!!

Ramona, you've done a most excellent job this week and i've got to say you looked an absolute treat in the "studio shot". Verrrrry Nice. I must confess I have been making nothing but pineapple juice, and avocado sandwhiches since I arrived. Nothing like a holiday. Still if it's any consolation it has rained solidly for 24 hours... I think Melbourne has the better weather at the moment. typical.

Regarding my on location hml duties: I have managed a couple of op shop trips and bought a few 'how-to' craft compendiums, a swag of hand embroidered 1950's style aprons i'm sure will feature in the next hml bake-off, as well as a couple of truly terrible postcards which should be arriving back in Northcote before I return - which should be quite a surprise for everyone because my usual effort involves posting them from work the day I get back.

Finally a big Congratulations to my better hml- half (Ramona) for her speech at Emma Davies exhibition opening, from all reports she stole the show!

Because it's all about me me me

So sorry hml readers. We know Thursday is always dedicated to what we made this week, we also know that it is Friday already and so we're late late late with our hml entry but quite frankly we made nothing at all this week. Well that isn't strictly true...

Beck has been making sandcastles and doesn't have access to a computer (something about none of them working when there is too much sunshine) and Ramona (ie me!) has been making a fool of herself in front of ABC cameras, trying to get ready for the Rose St Artists market on Saturday (do stop by if you are in Melb!) and staring at that basket of felt thinking about Christmas in July.

HML reader Jane (yoo hoo Jane!) suggested that I tell you that last night I made a speech at Emma Davies opening - that's making something right? But it wasn't really a speech more a rant about how cool people are when they make stuff.

Which this week by definition makes hml uncool!

I wonder what you all made this week? You know even if it was just dinner for people you love it was still a great act of creativity in this insanely busy world. Maybe you

made a bed
made a great cup of coffee
made a promise
made a wish
made a cake
made an effort
made someones day

no more speeches. geez I could have cleaned up the studio before the camera crew came...


Kissy Kissy Bang Bang

We can't even tell you how much we love and admire the work of Melbourne based toymaker, artist, ilusstrator wondergirl Beck Wheeler. As hml get busy to participate in morphe 2 with our little alphabet soup we are also busy drooling over many of our co exhibitors work (Ms Wheeler being one of them).

Of course we've know about Beck for a while. Her show late last year at Hudson was the highlight of a really mad day that culminated in us planning some sort of world domination while eating pizza and coke (breakfast of champions!)

And I tell ya, if you want to see how a great website is done you need to shimmy on over to beckwheeler.net

try not to have a panic attack afterwards like we did. See it as inspiration!

If you want to see some of her amazing work in the flesh Beck's work is currently on display in the window space of ...you guessed it... Craft Victoria.

We should add that one half of hml does work there and the other half did work there (and sometimes still does). So if it seems like we think CV is the centre of the universe it's just because we don't get out much xxx


Knitting Pretty


There has been quite a bit of talk about knitting around the hml campfire this week. We've spotted some lovely tea cosies over at Poppalina and we're frantically trying to finish up some woolly projects of our own before winter is over (mind you winter never ends in Melbourne - one looooong cold 6 months!)

We'd love to take the credit for this wonderful cap - hand knitted with fair aisle supremecy and fantastic crochet finish but alas our stitchin skills aren't this bitchin.

The maker Victoria Haslam of Pygmalion knits is one of the loveliest people we know and boy can she wield two sticks and a piece of string.

It's Ramona's driving hat - she looks splendid in it. It keeps her noggin warm and stops all her ideas from evaporating. It's a magic hat.


Leaving On a Jet Plane


Team hml are a bit beside themselves this week. One of us is having a nervous breakdown while the other is running away to Queensland for some much needed sunshine. We have so many things circled on the wall calendar we barely know where to begin.

two dates we'd like you to circle are this Thursday 27th July for the opening of three great shows at Craft Victoria.

Emma Davies: cross-polynate

We can't be be objective about Emma's work. Ramona wrote the essay and is opening the show and Beck took many of the images for the catalogue. having had a sneak preview of this beautiful exhibition we can honestly say this is a must-see. For our many interstate and international readers we promise a flickr site for you to peruse soon...

David Neale: Doppel Hangers

We have long sung praise to Neale's beautiful jewels. This is his first solo exhibition which promises to do considerable damage to credit cards around town. 100+ earrings are on display. Neale's interpretations of natural shapes are lyrical and clever. We are already feeling weak at the knees.

Richard Nylon: Millinery Delicious

harking back to the Open Bench series held at CV some time ago Milliner Richard Nylon will transform gallery three into his own studio. We may have to frock up to pay a visit, we'll use any excuse to try on some avant-garde headgear!

What else is happening this week? Well the Alphabet Soup construction continues, a stint with ABC tv (more later...eek!), Rose St Artists Market, Film Festival opens, oh and yes that second date we mentioned...

Porthole Project at Brunswick Arts Space opens Friday July 28 (drinks 6-9pm)

hml were invited to participate in a group show where each artist was given a pvc pipe and two weeks to create something amazing. The tubes will then be installed in a dark gallery and visitors will be invited to explore them by torchlight. Ours is a shrine to one of our favourite women - The Log Lady, in a piece we call 'The White Lodge'.

Craft Victoria shows 27 July 26 August

Porthole Project @ Brunswick Arts Space. 2a Little Breese St Brunswick. Open Thurs-Sun 11-5. July 28 - August 25

Previous Post about David Neale

Link to Emma Davies catalogue Essay by Ramona.


zen and the art of astro turf elephants


HML took a well earned break this week and headed for the hills, well sort of. We took off in the trusted cherry-mobile and made for the coast, and kept on going until we hit Langwarren. We passed many an enticing op-shop along the way and it was only the steely determination of Ramona behind the wheel that actually got us to McClelland Gallery and Sculpture park by morning tea-time. People I'll be honest - if it had been me behind the wheel we would have been lucky to have made it out of the Dandenong Savers. It was however great to get out of the city, breathe some fresh air and feel the healthy squelch of horse manure underfoot, and the art on show proved the outing was well worth the long drive.

Louise Weaver's retrospective was, well, genius - breathtaking in conception, intent and execution. The Contemporary Japanese Painting was patchy, but it was a genuine delight to be presented with the waxy layers that make up the deceptively dark and dreamy portraits of Yoshitomo NARA, and damn if they weren't ten times the size we expected, and cack funny to boot. Although perhaps not as funny as Ramona thought Snuffy the astro turf elephant.

We also managed to pick up some much needed tree related material for our upcoming Christmas show and stuff our faces with some truly fabulous lemon tart.

A most excellent day out.

Of course we've also had our noses to the grindstone finishing up our piece for the Portholes Exhibition being installed this Saturday, cutting out the fabric for the rest of the crazy alphabet soup we're preparing for Morphe 2, and planning our Melbourne International Film Festival Tour. It's been a busy week.

Thank god it's Friday.


a word beginning with....

Work has begun in earnest on our Alphabet Soup for Morphe2. We've pulled our letters out of a hat (Beck scored all the hard ones like P and R and Q, lady luck was not on her side!) and divided up our buttons.

We are particularly pleased with L for Luthor. He makes us chortle out loud. He's very serious - think Sam the American Eagle serious . but it's hard not to laugh at a letter with a denim boot and loopy shoelaces. Stay tuned folks more letters to come...(25 in fact, better get cracking!)

Morphe 2

previous hml post Morphe 2


wonder twin powers activate!


According to their bio dynamic duo kozyndan "are Los Angeles based mad scientists. they are working on a secret formula for controlled nuclear fusion, and are creating a line of edible chickens. For fun they like to take long deep breaths and dip their heads into bowls of rasberry jelly and lemon curd. They live indoors and don't paint on walls. the couple also moonlights as freelance illustrators."
They are also pencil geek masters of all manner of robots, bunnies, school-girl attired salarymen and the tokyo underground. They artfully combine all of the above, and more, in panoramic drawings that are 'real, unreal and surreal all at the same time'. And we LOVE them. Lots.

HML advise you climb aboard their crazy train before it leaves the station. kozyndan website


Buckaroo Banzai


We'd like to introduce you to our lean green afro'd machine and craft find of the week. His name - AFRO KEN. He's graced my home for quite a few years now, and aside from being a super cool lime colored dude we're pretty sure he's the inspiration behind current Wolfmother look.

Now we recognise that he's not a hand made softie, but you have to admit he's a pretty crafty creature and apparently a good guy to boot. According to Wikipedia "He is innocent and blameless and always in a good mood. Afro Ken is always willing to try new things. Afro Ken is attracted to objects that look like he does. His hair changes to look like these things as he gets close to them."

Whoa! that's quite a skill people, and goes some way to explaining why my particular Afro Ken is covered with soy beans and named Edamame Ken. After all, i'm the in-house vegetarian. I imagine when Ramona gets her own Afro Ken, he'll be covered in bacon and steaks and called Kobe Beef Ken.

Just so you know, there is an Afro Ken Family Tree with other dog characters who have names such as Techno Ken, Charisma Ken, Funky Ken, Lord Ken, Super Afro Ken, and Normal Ken, some of which are displayed below. Unlike the others, Normal Ken does not have wild hair.

shame really.




Kobyashi:Dog 1998

This week sees the hml team turn their attention to all things Japanese. We are so excited to be hooning out to McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park to see Painting For Joy: New Japanese Painting in the 1990's.

Beck has been banging on about revisting the Land of The Rising Sun for years now. If we had the cash we'd be jumping a plane today, but alas we are restricted to a week long virtual holiday. We are both such great fans of Yoshimoto NARA and his contemporaries that an exhibition of this ilk is just the ticket to brighten up our winter blues.

Of course while we are out there we'll be drooling over the Louise Weaver exhibition. We know many of you think we should be featuring crochet all week in her honour but we just couldn't learn a new skill right now - our brains are about to explode. We do promise to tell you all about it. And to learn how to crochet...sometime...in the future.

Weaver: Taking a Chance on Love 2003

Louise Weaver: Taking a Chance on Love 9-27 July

Painting For Joy: New Japanese Painting in the 1990's 9-30 July

McClelland Gallery 390 McClelland Drive, Langwarrin, VIC 3910


Strung Out


Well dear readers as you know the hml team have been going crazy over string this week which has been remarkably interesting! We've also been gazing into our crystal balls to try and imagine how to make our ever growing list of ideas a reality (Christmas show! Morphe 2! Podcast! Teaching!)
This little woodsy glade is something we have created for a group show enigmatically titled 'Porthole' at the Brunswick Arts Space next month. The trees only stand about 8 cm tall and the foliage was painstakingly applied using the most amazing glue called 'hob-e-tac'.

We rediscovered our love of the hobby store. It was quite a conversation choosing these trees. They did have premade ones but as the friendly chap (who looked alot like santa) behind the counter said 'truly realistic trees have to be made individually by hand'. No truer words were said.

Can't tell you too much about the piece. If you really want to know maybe you should talk to the Log Lady...


String u along


We really did intend on getting out to Bunnings on our 'mutual making' day yesterday, but it was such a crappy day in Melbourne, and let's face it there are no sausages on offer on weekdays, so we had to make our string art masterpieces from things we already had at home. very hml.

Luckily Ramona had remembered a past purchase from Spotlight and I managed to find a suitably co-ordinated selection ofwool scraps lurking in the back of the craft cupboard.

As we were without the chip board, nails and patterns prescribed in the Pictures with Pins instructional guide book, it took a while to work out our 'freestyle' designs... but in the end we were pretty happy with the results. Even if we didn't manage to make the 'moon buggy'.

Twenty mintues later - presto! A fantastic plastic version of string art ready to hang... and all without hammering in a single nail.


String Theory


hml would like to make a public service announcement: Thinking is Good Exercise.

For the past few days we have been using our pea brains to try and understand String Theory for you all. We thought it might be nice if we could give you a simple explaination for what it is but we are just getting ourselves, ahem, tied up in knots. let's just say it has alot to do with Theoretical Physics and Supersymmetry. We were lucky enough to find the Official String Theory Website which attempts in very basic language to explain this complex brain teaser.

For those of you wanting a craftier approach Math Cats has some great patterns for creating your own string art. We know it is aimed at 5th graders but that is our spiritual age and we thought it was neato! We are soooo glad there isn't going to be a test on this at the end of the week.


how long is a piece of string


Well this weeks craft find comes straight from the good people of Golden Hands, perennial favourites of all lovers of 70's style craft. imaginatively entitled Pictures with Pins, it lets us in, DIY style on the "exciting new craze which is catching on fast". Well at least it was in 1974 when this particular edition was published. As we mentioned yesterday, handmade life thinks it high time for a revival and we'll be the first in line picking up the materials needed to start said revival at Bunnings come Saturday.

According to the intro "You don't have to be a dab hand with a paintbrush to create a picture these days. It's so much easier to do it with a hammer and nails and a reel of thread. Try this on a rainy afternoon, or (once you've hammered in the nails) while watching television in the evening." Excellent! What can be better than a craft project you can knock over during a matinee movie, football game or repeat episode of the West Wing.

It also includes a complete zodiac pattern guide for those who are astrologically inclined, as well as string art classics like the Goldfish, Sunburst, Butterfly and Peacock, although the "Passer-by" on page 34 and "Moon Buggy" on 33 just had us both bamboozled.


string me up


Taking inspiration from construction sites, city skylines, and basic geometric shapes, artist Catherine Hockey has attached string and rope directly to the Westpace Gallery wall to create an installation aptly called 'Strung Out'. By creating the 'skeletons' of these familiar shapes Hockey is able to play with the viewers perception of the two and three dimesional image.

We remember with fondness the string art of our childhoods - those 2d wonders that could be found adorning many a 70's living room. It's amazing what you can do with a bit of mdf, little nails and, well, a piece of string. Who'd of thought that's all it took to make ye olde pictures of a sailing ship or a sunflower? It's time string art was revived and we are happy to let you know it's looking fresher that ever.

Catherine Hockey has taken it to a whole new level of sophistication that is probably beyond the reach of hml staffers. Mind you, we have been inspired to make it a string themed week, so who knows what Thursday will bring...

Catherine Hockey: Strung Out. until the 22nd of July

Westspace Gallery


ready willing and able


RAMONA: It's been crazytown for me this week. I have found myself and my little business Words and Pictures caught up in the too-cool-for-school-world of the National Design Festival. I'll be rubbing shoulders with the supa groovers this Sunday at Readymade Market (Fed Square Carpark 10-5). I normally just make greeting cards but I went all fancy pants and made some badges too (hundreds of them in fact) and Beck was determined to get a swelegant photo of me proudly showing my wares. Yes that's me holding them like they're the first bowl of cherries at the market. I was planning on making toys too but as you can see I didn't get too far. The stripey socks were for the handpuppet last week, maybe a sock monkey next week who knows...

I'm sharing a stand with Irene (Iggy and Lou Lou) which is very exciting. There are loads of other exciting stallholders too. If someone (please) can come and mind my shoppe for 10 minutes I can wizz round to see Third Drawer Down's amazing table as well as drool at the deliciousness of Succulent Designs, Jessie Tucker, and Penelope Durston and dozens more. It should be a fun day out. Do stop by to say hello!

To find out more about the Design Festival you can check out the website at the

National Design Centre

Don't think that Beck Jobson hasn't been busy too. She took some amazing photographs for an upcoming project that we can't show you just yet. So you'll just have to put up with photos of my silly mug instead.


very cross stitch


We like anything that undermines people perception of hobby craft. We've discoverd there are alot of angry crafters out there using their talents to provide political commentary. It's a way of venting the spleen and ending up with a nice cushion or wall hanging at the end of it.

We're most impressed with Julie Jackson and her website Subversive Cross Stitch. She's called her project 'anger management therapy' and now shares it with the rest of us in the form of pithy cross stich kits that you can admire and then order to DIY. She hasn't shunned the traditional floral or bunny motifs, it's just that she's added delicious phrases like 'go fuck yourself' and 'fuck cancer' that are at once hilarious and shocking too. But it's good to have a sense of humour - as on says 'Life Sucks and then You Die'

Subversive Cross Stitch




Well we managed to miss what apparently was great show by the Embroiderer's Guild last week while we were busy with our hands up felt puppets. So while commiserating over another "there are just too many festivals in Melbourne" mishap we started thinking about our own embroidered craft collections.

Previously we had revealed a strong mutual fetish for cross stitch and ceramic animals so we thought it high time to come clean about another obsession shared - bowling. Let's face it, it's hard not to love a sport that includes natty shoes, pearlescent glitter balls, embroidered theme shirts and condones the chowing down on fries between frames.

With this in mind we decided that my Noelene Sibbason "maggies" bowling shirt had the craft find of the week gig stitched up - literally.


this is not rubbish


This week we are going to travel over hill and down dale to get out to Manningham Gallery for the opening of an exhibition called Debris. Why you ask? In such cold wet weather, when the roads are slick, the air icy and hot soup's waiting for us in the staff canteen it seems crazy to drive to the outer suburb of Doncaster on a Wednesday eve just for art.

Pish, we say!

This isn't just any art. This is, and we quote the invitation, 'Art that recycles and recontextualises everyday objects and materials through processes of assemblage, (re-) contruction and installation'

Sound amazing to us. And we are intrigued to see what curator Edwina Bartlem has come up with . Includes work by Hannah Bertram, Julia de Ville, Mary Louise Edwards, Mandy Gunn, Donna Marcus and Lucian Perin.

This week also sees us visiting the studio of designer Emma Davies, building a shop for hml goodies (a virtual one of course) and making more of the alphabet for Morphe II soup.

Busy busy busy always busy....

Debris 5 - 29 July
Manningham Gallery
699 Doncaster Rd
Doncaster 3108