bricks are heavy


We were gobsmacked as we walked up to the NGV on Wednesday our hearts always skip a beat at the waterwall, but this time it we were literally stopped in our tracks. We were confronted with a dreamy melting landscape of white city like a shimmering 3D chinese papercut and when we got inside the view was just as lovely. There they all were, peeps of all shapes and sizes busily building.

We were excited about the prospect of creating our own HML inclusion but undecided on our final design so decided to head straight for the members lounge and engage in some sketching over a cuppa. We were a little weirded out by the fact that everyone was sticking to buildings, we thought there might be some big cars, dumptrucks, names, at least one 'rude bit' and giant godzilla like creatures preparing to smash up the lego landscape like a b-grade movie, but no... all buildings, really beautiful willowy buildings, but still ALL buildings.

Anyway as you'd expect we ended up spending more time chatting than planning and by the time we emerged from the members cocoon the whole thing was full of kids and clearly we were no longer a chance... probably lucky really, after all the free caffeine and sugary biscuits we'd consumed who knows what kind of chaos we may have unleashed...


beady little eyes


Well they aren't bricks but they do start with b, and given our love of DIY be-jewelling these wooden beads currently on sale at Maria George in Flinders lane were just too good to say no to. Really a fiver for a giant strand, who's going to pass that kind of bargain up?
Now if we could only decide what to do with them...


One Brick at a Time


An exciting recent work by Danish contemporary artist Olafur Eliasson has been installed at NGV International and the ladies of hml are heading down there this week to get their paws on the interactive joy that can always be found in a pile of lego.

Eliasson’s 'The Cubic Structural Evolution Project' invites audience collaboration: viewers contribute to the construction of a Lego world with more than 400,000 white Lego blocks as building material. Children and adults participate to continually build and rebuild an environment for the duration of the installation. Active involvement is encouraged by Eliasson as the work progressively takes shape during the period of the exhibition.

We love a bit of hands on stuff in the high falootin halls of the NGV - good on em. wonder how many blocks have gone missing so far? It'll be hard to resist slipping one into the hml bag! We'll let you know...

The cubic structural evolution project 2004
National Gallery of Victoria
St Kilda Road
Melbourne City
2 March – 13 May 2007


spots before your eyes


I'll admit it i'm biased and selfish and Ramona may not back me on this one, but come on she's my all time number one favourite. And she's Japanese. Her name is Yayoi (which I discovered in Tokyo is now kind of slang for nutter) And lives in an asylum, and she is in her 70's , kind of crazy, has bright pink hair, is obsessed with dots and she's made something in my hometown. Which means she was also here, while I was in Japan.

Strange how things work out.


why I think it's booty


I'm back in Melbourne. Sigh. Luckily Ramona has unearthed the Nathan J show at Outre to ease me back into things. I know there was talk of a sadly underwhelming group of craft finds while I was away. But really, do airlines ever actually weigh your hand luggage? I work on the premise that if I can make the carrying of the bag look effortless it doesn't really matter that I'm hauling 15kg. And they have trolleys at airports these days don't they?
So while I sit nursing a Quasimodo like spinal curvature, I take solace in the knowledge that I also have a handy collection of craft books, strangely named chocolate (Black Horn for Men anyone?), Tabbi toe socks, fat squares, moomin cookie cutters, matcha bowls, truly old skool sake cups, a Muji filled wardrobe, my very first kokeshi doll, and a brand spanking appointment with the osteopath.

scary good not scary bad

Regular readers of HML will know we have a secret lust for all things illo (oh if only our Pentel fineliners would behave the way we wanted them too) and Outre Gallery in Elizabeth Street is one of our regular haunts (especially when hinting very loudly to loving and devoted partners what we'd like for Christmas - cheers M!)
One of our fave penmeisters is Nathan Jurevicious, creator of Scarygirl and all round genius. we are thrilled that this week seees the opening of a new nathan J show (defrost that Visa card Beck).
Nathan himself will be in the house for book signings on Saturday, we'll be there too - one thing the Pentels are good for...autographs!

Outre Gallery 249 Elizabeth Street City www.outregallery.com


retail therapy


Finally, on my last day in Japan, I literally fell into the local craft shop. It was a fantastic three floor affair that literally made me so excited I needed to pee. So while literally running to the nearest facilities I managed to snap some highlights on film. Yes there were acres of fantastic fabrics, trims to die for, how to books up the wazoo, Scandinavian fat squares straight from Stockholm, an overflowing remnant table and a very happening hand-crafting workroom. However top of my list was the effortlessly off kilter array of 'demonstration models'. Pure. Genius.

Lincraft eat your heart out.


read all about it


As far as crafty items in Tokyo the list is almost endless: genius ceramics, fabrics to die for, and all manner of bamboo, wood and laquered must haves... therefore we are both currently kicking ourselves that HML's 'Big In Japan' tour didn't think through the luggage equation before departure. As everyone knows taking nothing but the barest of essentials in a very large suitcase maximises returning goodie potential, especially given that we are peasants and herded into cattle class with its paltry baggage allowance. As self described compulsive "overpackers" it is going to be hard to try and find space for all the potential purchases .
So it's going to be trip more about the pictures of things than actual objects. Well that's the plan. The Tokyo craft finds are probably all going to be found in 2D living color in the form of craft magazines. And let's face it we've all drooled over the awsome collection of Japanese craft publications that can be seen online ...or maybe it's just us with dribble on the keyboard.
We'll just need to brush up on our kanji deciphering, so we can make sense of the extensive instructions... andto try and remember to breathe as we are choked with gingham studio envy.


the belly of an architect


We know we usually feature the work inside the art gallery on a Monday, but Beck was so taken with this particular gallery space, that we decided the hell with it, why not feature the gallery itself as the artwork on show. The gallery is part of an entire precint designed by Japans best known living architect, Tadao Ando that features residential apartments, retail outlets, a cafe and nursery and a soon to be completed super kindergarten. We think it's tops and are really big fans. The fact that he is entirely self taught in architecture, has won nearly every architecture and culture award in the world, his favourite architect is Mies van der Rohe, (just like our own in house architect) and that 'ando street' was literally around the corner from where she was staying was just gravy. Given that he has also had some very high profile clients like Karl Lagerfeld, Tom Ford, the Pulitzer Foundation and Giorgio Armani, and has just finished the Issey Miyake museum we wonder if he'd be up for designing a new HML headquarters?

want more information ?
tokyo art museum website: http://www.tokyoartmuseum.com/
check out Mr Ando's website: www.tadaoando.com/
or read a short interview with Mr Ando on the ever fabulous 'design boom'


stamp collector


While Ramona busied herself cranking out another huge words and pictures card order and filling in behind the counter for me at Craft Vic, I visited my favourite Japanese Ikea style store MUJI (who weirdly enough our dog is named after... thanks to the brother in law) anyway while drooling through the isles of stripey shirts I discovered that you could actually make your own MUJI canvas tote bag while shopping GENIUS!!! of course given that I was jonesing from craft withdrawel I jumped right on in and whipped one up.


turning japanese


Greetings from Tokyo land of the lace decorated taxi, t-shirted dog and oversized diakon raddish... long time readers will remember Ramona in a similar pose with a zuchini out of the hml veggie patch last year...

While juggling babysitting duties of my 18 month old niece and three month old nephew I have managed to get out of the playpen and hit the neonlit streets of Shinjuku. This provided me with some excellent views of some of the fashion sense we have all come to expect of those fruity fashion types... but you'll all have to wait until I familiarise myself with the technology available here for me to post a collection of street fashion pics sorry people but at least it will give you something to look forward to.

Given that the national sport seems to be shopping, I have also made myself familiar with local shops in Sengawa... and boy those 100 yen shops are a treat! As you all know, I am always on the hunt for crafty finds, but so far the mystical five floored craft shopping extravangaza promised at the start of the trip has remained annoyingly elusive... fear not dear readers I will not give up the hunt and I promise some Japanese style craft store action before I depart!

At the moment my experience of the hand made thas been limited to food... and am happy to report that this edible investigation has not disappointed. Who would have thought that the best cakes I have EVER eaten (and that included dolce crawls throught italy my friends) would have been found here in the land of the sushi train? The world truly is a marvellous place.


the future is now

SHOW OF THE WEEKOpening at Craft Victoria this week as part of the L'oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival is 'Solutions for Better Living'. Curator Kate Rhodes has made it a little difficult for us to tell you what the show is all about suffice to say there are some blue ribbon jewellers involved and alot of talk about situationist theories and 'the spectacle' - don't ask us today - we'll let you in on the actual details on Friday after we've snuck into the opening on Thursday night for the artists talks and glass of champagne (everything is clearer with bubbles...)
The above image is of a 'piece' by Roseanne Bartley entitled 'Human Necklace'...we are suitably challenged and intrigued. We may not be the sharpest tools in the shed but we do love ideas here at HML and we get the feeling that this show has food for thought.

here's a bit from the press release for all our enquiring jeweller readers out there:
Traditionally, jewellery is a model of intimate engagement between wearer and worn, where significance is created in the private realm of individual consumption. However, the jewellery in this exhibition produces or prompts human relations. These Melbourne-based artists seek out collective encounters as the glue that generates meaning.

Artists include: Roseanne Bartley, Susan Cohn, Kiko Gianocca, Phoebe Porter and Blanche Tilden.


PS - hopefully we'll get a virtual postcard from Beck in Tokyo this week. Awfully quiet around the campfire without her!




To be honest the last thing I had imagined i'd be doing in the middle of a heatwave was knitting, but just after christmas i took a trip down hml's memory lane, and discovered in our first week that my made it myself was a bunch of squares (no not us) that I intended to have made into a couch blanket by melbourne's first sign on winter.

Sigh. Of course it never happened, everything else did.

However, it has moved further along, I now have about 60 squares finished and again i'm promising myself that by this winter it might be big enought for at least me and maybe the dog to snuggle up under, Michael however may have to fend for himself!