exterminate exterminate!


The ladies of hml have a bit of a penchant for robots, particularly for the tin variety. Perhaps it's our fond memories of being terrified of the daleks that invaded our 'ABC only' homes every night at 630? Truth is we are geeks at heart and damn proud of it! And who could resist the sporty stripes of the rocket racer?
or the matching set of certifiably neutronic tin siblings?


mind benders


This week we are shining our shoes to enter the big halls of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the National Gallery of Victoria for two shows that will be worth the price of admission (yes you have to pay. why? we dunno, they have big electricity bills to pay maybe?)

First up on Thursday at ACMI:

Fresh from London is 'Eyes Lies and Illusions' which promises four centuries of rare optical toys and puzzles (see told you it would be exciting!)

And then...next day at NGV:I

Tezuka:The Marvel of Manga. Which we are very excited about. Being kids of the 70's raised on TV and comic books this promises to be both nostalgic and reinvigorating - we can look forward to reaffirming our commitment to all things pop culture.


I feel like chicken tonight


Well we did give you a teaser from the exhibition coming up at 45 downstairs from the easel of Ramona, and today we thought we might hand out another clue regarding the subject matter of the show straight from Beck's studio... Baguette anyone?

We also thoroughly od'd on Bollywood during the extremely epic Dil to Pagal Hai... Let's just say with no more than two lines of dialogue between dance numbers it was a very LOOOOOONG 4 hours even for seasoned veterans like ourselves. Maybe it was just a case of one choc-top too many but we were feeling completely shattered by the end of it. Still like the gluttons we are, we're now readying our outfits for a real life outing with none other than Shah Rukh this very weekend at the filming of a new bollywood flick in Melbourne. Look for us amongst the cast of extras waiving our hml flags to cheer on the Indian hockey team... We'll be the extremely white chicks in bad salwar kameez.

We also saw this very strange piece of handmade installation art-vertising from none other than jean genie Calvin Klein hanging over Melbourne Central like a denim death star...

My what a big pair he has.


quiet please!


The hml staff are gearing up for our exhibition at 45Downstairs in December. It is decidedly seasonal in theme. What do we mean? well let's just say the above yellow creature is one of 11 pipers piping... more details in coming weeks

Below is Ramona's piece for the Craft Victoria Silent Auction (shhhh!) which will be bigger than Ben Hur


handmade in melbourne...


This week sees the release of a great new book called Handmade in Melbourne. Written by Jan Phyland (a former fashion editor from The Age) and Janet De Silva (a freelance design, interiors and food writer), the book offers an introduction to the makers practice and the accompanying photographs by Dean Cambray (which by the way are beautiful) capture each maker at hard at work. Its a fantastic opportunity to peak through the studio door and provides a great overview of the creative revolution currently taking place in Melbourne.
above: ceramicist Kris Coad and below: Jane Wiffin cup cake maker

Through interviews with 80 makers from boat builders to milliners, musical instrument makers to bakers, toymakers and taxidermists, the book highlights both the diversity of practice and the common threads that bind all these craftspeople together. With the offical launch taking place tomorrow night, get ready to see it on the shelves of all good bookstores sometime soon... it'll be a great stocking filler!


a soft place to fall


No prizes for guessing what our craft find is this week. I felt a wee bit cheeky raiding my mother's closet for these little gems. Some a from school fetes, some were christmas fancies from a beloved and since passed friend, a couple were made by moi (the three bodgy ones below)

And one in particular came with so much family history we can call it an heirloom. It's been a part of her closet for a long time. From her 1950's childhood school uniform, her 1960's suit for secretary school, her 1970's faux suede kaftan she wore at my first communion, her powder grey power suit from 1986, the fantastic cable sweater she bought back from Ireland in 1993 and now the blouse she'll wear to her grandaughter's primary school graduation ceremony next month it has lovingly held them all. My mother and her covered coathanger.

nice huh.


hang ups


Handmadelife are going old skool this week with the uber-trad craft of the covered Coathanger. A new show at Yarra Sculpture Gallery promises to present 'traditional craft skills in a contemporary light'. We know with makers like the wonderous Jenny Bartholemew crossed with the always fantastic Country Womens Association involved it is going to be a wild ride into the wardrobe.

For those of you that haven't ventured to the sculpture gallery, make the effort because it's a really interesting alternative space for 'objects'.

We wonder, do craftspeople ever think of themselves as sculptors?

Yarra Sculpture Gallery 117 Vere Street Abbotsford. www.sculptors.org.au show runs til Oct 29

PS DIY Christmas?


boogie knights


Trying not to get overexcited about the all singing, all dancing, all drama, all action Bollywood treats we have in store for ourselves this weekend... Along the way Ramona managed to hold on tight to her new beau Shah Rukh like a Bond girl.

So tonight we're off to see the premier screening of a remake of one of Becks favourite all time movies, DON. The 1978 original starred the indisputable king of indian cinema, Amitabh Bachchan (see above), while the 2006 update stars the 'all genres are my business' and reputed successor to the throne, Shah Rukh. Really, we just couldn't be more excited!

While still recovering from that epic event we'll be packing up the posse and trotting off to see the hip hoppin Bollywood blingfest, Bluffmaster. Sstarring none other than the BIG B's real heir apparent, Abhishek Bachchan. Thankfully, even as we exit the cinema bleary eyed yet unsated we'll be secure in the knowledge that come Wednesday we'll again be treating ourselves with the flares and fireworks musical extravaganza Dil to Pagal Hai...

Absolutely mind blowing!!!


rockin robin


as we edge closer to the festive season the hml office is abuzz with preperations. We have an exhibition to put on and we are hosting a course at the CAE called DIY Christmas so it is action stations all systems go!

Remember that fabric we printed some weeks back? Well we've started designing simple projects for our potential students. We've relearnt a few valuable design lessons ourselves. The biggest one being that for the handmade gift simple equals style. We are pretty pleased with these notebooks (good for dads,brothers, boyfriends and er...us) and that simple felt birds really sets off the blue eggy fabric. We know several small people who would love this in their room and it's cute enough to not make parents gag either!

Are you all getting ready for Christmas? Or is that just us...


they're crafty and they're just our type


want to feel your brain slowly melt from idea overload? then you have two immediate options,
head straight to the newstands for the first issue of the new CRAFTZINE magazine, or get online and get on board the...

CRAFTZINE BLOG one of our alltime favourites, where we have learnt important things like how to make a wedding dress from cream puffs, create a laptop case from old pants or make home-made halloween costumes for your pets (see Rover above). We are very very excited that this new magazine will soon be hitting the shelves. Especially as the premiere issue promises 23 projects with a twist! "Embroider your skateboard, light up your clothing, felt an iPod cocoon, knit your own boots, stitch a robot, and more!"

sounds right up our alley...

Oh, and a word of thanks to garage sailor, uberjeweller, wooden pineapple collector and handmade life reader Annadee for the heads up on the craftzine origami rubiks cube, now that's some seriously clever folding.


know your Amitabh


Well it's the Nova's Bollywood festival once again, a time when we put our dislike of that particular cinema aside and gleefully munch our way through over three hours of glitz, glamour, tears, drama, dancing, singing, arms thrown outstretched on mountain hillsides and saris in snowscapes... oh yes. We know there are other Indian cinema genres, and we we're the first in line for all manner of weird and wonderful subcontinental versions of hit American movies like the fast and the furious (see Sanjay Gadhvi's Dhoom) , as well as serious social commentaries like Deepa Mehta's trilogy Fire, Earth and Water.

BUT at this hectic time of year when we all want a holiday and Christmas is just too far away nothing beats a choc top fueled excursion into the bejewelled and kajoled eyes of Rani, Kareena, Priety and Aish, not too mention the trembling lips of the Rukh, the nimble hips of Roshan, the long limbed cool of the baby Bachchan or indeed the overbuffed upper arms of funnyman Saif...

It's with the promise of all this and more we could look no further than the all too generous gift from fellow crafter, blogger, songstress of twang and ruhk lover Shula for our craft find of the week...

our very own Amitabh.

We know he's made of plastic, but check out the shirt and jacket lapel detail and tell us that doesn't bear the signs of an incredibly skilled but sadly overworked and underpaid seamstress.

So we'd like to salute Shula, Amitabh and the unknown machinist that gave us this magnificent 'Living Legend'.
the Bollywood festival guide can be found at Cinema Nova
see you there, we'll be the ones with the samosas...


little creatures


Dylan Martorell, you may know him from such shopping ventures as Sasquatch and Outskirts t-shirt Gallery, you may have seen him perform feats of sound bending magic with fellow pencil /vinyl geek Nathan Gray, as 'Snawkler', you may have happened upon his otherworldly illustrated t-shirts at Craft Victoria, Corky St.Clair or one of the Fat stores, you might have even seen him and his band of merry pranksters 'Hi-Gods' supporting Sonic Youth this year...

What, you've never heard of him. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!!!

Quick! you can catch up by visiting his latest exhibition INFINIGHTS at Someday Gallery. Enter a Doctor Who meets Parliament inspired collection of musical costumes, instruments and sound sculptures, alongside a magnificent collection of limited edition prints that expose the secret lives and rituals of animals, there's even a set of viewfinders and promises of live performances. What a package deal!

Dylan has also set up a studio in the gallery where he'll be creating weird sounds, weirder drawings and reconfiguring discarded and unlikely objects like a mad professor in his lab. He may even get some of the gear on for an impromptu gig.

Pop in and say Hi, he's a helluva nice fella.

Someday Gallery, level 3 Curtain House, 252 Swanston street. City
October 15-29, noon - 7pm Wednesday to Saturday, noon - 5pm Sunday.

Can't make it into the city, away on holidays, live in another country/state?
visit Dylans website site hiddenarchive or blog for your own virtual tour


what a cushy job


As you know the ladies of hml love a bargain, and as discussed we can often be found in the manchester section of IKEA or indeed Lincraft, searching for customize-able discount produce.
At the moment there is an abundance of fantastically cheap cotton tea towels on the market conveniently arranged in color coded packages, ready for handmade craft projects.
We found the pink and gingham combo below at lincraft for only $3, and the blue and white striped number as part of a pack of four available at the ridiculously low price of $3.95 at IKEA...

After deciding upon a project of a slip cover throw cushion for beck niece Anna, we chose the pink/gingham combo and after pinning, stitched the two tea towels together longish to make our basic shape. The beauty of the tea towel of course for any project like this is that the incredibly annoying inside seams are already done for you. Genius!

Stage two was to give it some character with an appliqued a blue felt bird with blanket stitch over the seam where the fabrics meet on the front of the cushion, then added a oversized button for an eye, securely sewn on of course as the recipient is only 18 months old.

After determining the length of overhang needed to create our flaps on the slip cover we pinned it together, and then inserted the cushion to ensure it actually did fit. The final step was to turn it back inside out and sew the whole thing together. Easy peasy.

Voila! Project complete, a lovely Christmas present for little Anna in her Tokyo bedroom, ready for wrapping, made in half an hour and all for under $10.


get stuffed!


well really what else could it be...
visit Carly's world and get the latest updates on Morphe II at her website Moopy + Me


dishin the dirt

You all know we love Third Drawer Down Teatowels - not just because they are works of art that live in the kitchen but because they honour home and hearth. We hope that those of you in Melbourne make it into the NDC for the You Watch, I'll Dry show.

To be honest with you our fetishising of the teatowel goes beyound that - it is in fact our country town souvenier of choice- the commemorative spoon coming a close second, followed by the cloth patch. Here are a couple of vintage linens we yanked out of the third drawer of the hml staff room:

And here is a delicious photo spread from Martha Stewart Living June 2001 (yes Ramona has every issue since may 97 and has just spent a small fortune buying the entire 1994 back catalogue - it's an obsession - no you cannot borrow them, but you can come over for a cuppa and a browse anytime!)


mighty morphe in power rangers


We made it! Those of you in sunny Adelaide this week should wiggle your way to Croydon to see our insane alphabet making an appearance at Morphe 2. Regular readers will know what an epic job it was and how gald we were to post it ot the the lovely Carly in SA! If you trundle over to the website you can click on the links of all other participants - far more accomplished than us generally speaking! But the one thing you can say is - our alphabet is funny lookin - in a good way!
nest studio

Poor souls that we are unable to travel South (even just to Adelaide - which is more west really...) we will be content with the opening of the Third Drawer Down extravaganza You Watch, I'll Dry at the National Design Centre tomorrow night. It's about time this art project/domestic tea towel range were seen for what they really are - objects of beauty and desire - where function meets fun. Congratulations go out to teatowelologist and curator Abigail Crompton - inspiration to us all.


could there be more to do?


trying to fit everything in, for example between now and next week we want to see...

Poliform is celebrating the State of Design with an exhibition by Melbourne artist Nicholas Jones. They say "Exploring the extraordinary possibilities of paper, Jones creates landscapes and triumphant sculptural pieces that are tactile, romantic gestures grounded inreal craftsmanship. Every piece is handcrafted with intricate care, each with its own visual language inspired by a literary past and presenting a new way to enjoy the beauty of the book."
We say: Nick is the sharpest dressed bibliopath we know, and what he can do with a scalpel would make even Tim Burton proud... well worth the price of admission.
4-14 October Poliform Melbourne 650 Church Street Richmond Vic 03 8420 0800

A showroom of custom rugs made by Tsar in collaboration with Johanna Preston of Preston Zly, artist Ross Cleland, product designer Marc Pascal, and Cindy-Lee Davies, sounds like a delight.
They say: "Pascal's emotive and tactile play with colour, Preston's love of experimentation with material, Cleland's sense for harmony and calmness, and Davies' tongue-incheek use of materials are translated into lush woollen tapestries, crafted by Tsar." Apparently it's "A show not to be missed."
Who are we to argue.
4-14 October Tsar, 3 Wellington Street, St. Kilda

This one features Gregory Bonasera, Nick Rennie, Jo Wilson, Lightly, Soren Luckins, Happy Finish Design, Spacecraft, Cloud and the people from Zaishu etc etc etc etc...and all in the beautiful surrounds of "one of Melbourne's premier shopping locations" the gpo building. Presented by lab 3000 it also features the unwired light garden - "a place of goldfish pondcasts and tricklin newsfeeds, video chatting flora and hyperlinked trees". Enuff said.

These three are on for free, and as they take place in deluxe showrooms, inadvertantly include shopping . So really it shouldn't hurt too much trying to fit them in...

as long as we leave the credit cards at home.

We'd also like to make it to the "Perils and Pleasures of Self Publishing" forum for reasons that are self evident, but given the essential bookings required and the demands on our weekends by essential family members we probably wont. If anyone else manages to get there please word us up.
Saturday 07 october 4.15pm – 6.30pm
Casey Plaza, Building 10.4.27, RMIT University, Swanston Street, Melbourne

I'd like to make it to see An Inconvenient Truth this weekend, and both Ramona and I are hankering (especially after Ramona's ritual 583 plus viewings of the trailer) to see Little Miss Sunshine as well, so it looks like it's going to be one hell of a busy one again next week.

Is anyone else having this problem?


Making a list and checking it... Twice


Well we initially made a decision not to make anything this week except out of the urban jungle and out into the fabulously faux bushlands at Heidi...

We also made ourselves extremely bloated on Devonshire tea and the extra cups of coffee that we couldn't resist when we saw the array of spoons that accompanied the arty barista swirls on top of our cups while we were out there.

We made it to the launch of three (and counting) openings of design festival related events with another one to attend tomorrow night.

We also respectively made our delivery deadlines, hairdressing and osteo appointments, beds, breakfasts, numerous pots of tea and our families dinners.

So you can see we really did make a lot this week.

Next week we're making actual three dimensional things that we can photograph and amaze you with...

Much more exciting than this list we made really.


arty fact


Every now and then the ladies come across a website that makes us just sigh with happiness.
What You Make It is an online art zine that is so lovingly concieved by editor Melissa Stajda and so beautfully presented (with the help of the all familiar moleskine and some fantastico contributions from artists and illustrators) that we can just push our chairs away from our desks and say "that is just beautiful".


up in the clouds

We have just discovered this nifty little website where you can make a word cloud from your blog. It's a neat piece of design and is our online


We were surprised to find words like windy (what us?) and busy (really?) and happy that craft, food and fashion made it in there. What does it say about us? What will your word cloud say about you?


State and Maine


Just when you were getting your head around the fringe festival guide, and wondering how to get the kids fed, washing done and see that mustachioed nude body builder reciting poetry on a unicycle, Melbourne hits you with another festival, Victoria's first STATE OF DESIGN .

There is a great program guide designed by lab3000 kicking about at the moment, but given how darn good lookin it is most of them have been snaffled already. To check out the complete array of seminars, free talks, awards, temporary shops, open studios and exhibitions head over to the festival online guide.

However faithful readers, be warned. Like all Melbourne festivals, there are a million things on, so HML will be doing it's best to keep you up to date with all the things we've seen, will be seeing or in fact won't have time to see but think rate a mention anyway, in the hope that you may get to see them

The first cab off the rank for HML is the very exciting Freestyle: New Australian Design for Living, presented by Melbourne Museum and Sydney's Object Gallery.

Curated by Object's Brian Parkes and designed by Frost Design, Freestyle is a one stop shop of Contemporary Australian Design. Showcasing "the best and freshest design for the home and body" you can rest assured that the fantastic array of works will quash any remaining rumours that innovative Australian design stopped at the Hills Hoist.

For us the Freestyle must sees (above l-r) include: the deliciously lacey lightworks of bernabeifreeman, textiles by Cloth's Julie Paterson, fashion by perennial HML favorites Easton Pearson and Akira and jewellery by Dinosaur Designs.

While the exhibition opens to the public on thirds the 5th, HML are heading out to the 'invitation only' launch this Wednesday night to mingle with the stars, where we hope to get some candid snaps of both the exhibition and the 'jetlagged' designers as they celebrate.

Freestyle:New Australian Design for Living.

Open Daily Thursday October 5, 2006 until February 4, 2007,

Melbourne Museum 11 Nicholson Street Carlton, Adults $6.00