take out

Due to impending deadlines and an empty pantry this weeks staff breakfast came courtesy of Ramona's corner cafe... a banana muffin and flat white for Ramona (the closest she's ever getting to fruit) and a bran and berry muffin and soy latte for Beck (bloody hippy)

As usual the hml mascot kept a close eye on the take out while we took the photo, needless to say even with these slim pickin's he managed to do ok.



keeping up with the joneses

From the calloused scalpel holding fingers of the snappiest spod wearing boho in town comes another fine collection of carved and folded tomes as part of Sculpture 2007 at Australian Art Resources (snappy name huh?). There are some other chaps exhibiting too but we don't give a toss about them - it's all about jonesy! Opens tonight down at Southbank - avoid the bad fire twirlers and cheap pasta...
we have to go, he came to ours...



round like a rissole?

It's like the dam has broken. The ladies of hml have gone into some sort of frenzied overdrive. We actually have a couple of treats in store for you dear readers in the coming days as we go into revamp mode. It's time for us to frock up the blog and we might as well ride this tsunami of activity because no doubt this time next week we'll be back at the movies wondering how we can avoid work and still feed our families. As for our reindeer friend above, we know it's not christmas yet and we have NEVER been 'christmas in july' kinda gals (christmas when it's cold - are you crazy peeps?) but we can't resist antlers - especially angora ones!



circle work

Despite working like the proverbial hound, Ramona managed to whip up this brooch before work on Friday, which we might add, 'cottaged' up the Stella Mcartney cardigan no end. The brooch was so hot, that even under the ghastly fluro of the evening train she still looked an absolute treat.



the musical fruit
ok here's what was on the menu at todays staff meeting and as you can see we ditched the 60's rhode island aesthetic this week and went a little tribal...
Of course when there is the possibility of saucy crusts we always have company. Muji, the hml mascot, was tres impressed with our tribal stylins and even more effusive about the surreptitious under-the-table deal. Needless to say we all had a good breakfast...
Do note the almost perfect placement of parsley, the cracked pepper and the fanning of the avocado (how good are they at the moment?) We have to admit the effor for the photo shoot meant the coffee had to be reheated and then remade but we were ultimately so inspired by our 70's flashback we spent the next couple of hours pouring over vintage craft books and went away dreaming of embroidered vests and macrame potholders.


who are you people?

After so long away from the sewing machine we've now gone completely mental. We don't seem to be able to stop making things from felted wool scraps, we don't even know where they come from, one minute we're talking about the latest David Fincher movie and the next we're coming to in front of the sewing machine with this glazed look in our eyes and these weirdly panted stuffed creatures in front of us, beaming maniacally... its getting downright spooky.



pirate treasure
Sometimes you get an itch, you know something's out there in op shop land waiting for you, and if you dont hot foot it right that instant, you'll turn up just in time to see as that one fabulous find getting packed up into someone elses recycled shopping bag.
The ladies had that feeling on saturday, just before the craft frenzy set in...
And we were more than happy with the results - although the long suffering in house architect was most miffed that his weekly pastrami purchase had to wait.

What a mighty crafting item we uncovered. The patent pending Dennison Buttoneer!

brilliant name, excellent packaging, flawless manicure!

endless repairing options, special pleating functions no more messy trims and applique

unfathomable plastic parts, a mystery key and on off days the buttoneer doubles as an antique epi-pen

become your own designer, change your wardrobe and create fabulous hats with giant flowers
give it a round of applause people, aussie designed and made, genius.



put the pedal to the metal
As amazing as it may seem this weekend has stayed full of craft production, we've been beavering away in our respective studios spurred on by one of Beck's Japanese craft finds...it's amazing how much more creative you can be with a warm and fuzzy noggin.



wooly ones
Yes well we know we are often banging on about what we intend to do and then end up putting posts about our elaborate breakfasts but on occasion we do actually manage to get stuff done. We'd like to celebrate this rare occurance with you today! It's full steam ahead for our Warm and Fuzzy workshop. Wolly wonders are being pieced together as examples of what you can do with swathes of preloved jumpers.

Ramona even managed to pull out the oils this week for a much loved but far away friends birthday. She hopes he likes her Seinfeld approach (its a painting about nothing) - so much so she's on a jet plane to hand deliver it.



green eggs no ham
Regular readers will be aware of just how much we ladies like a big breakfast, and the staff meeting menu has become quite a topic of speculation and is in fact actually now garnering queries in advance (thanks Juliana!) Anyway for all of your information last week we cafe'd it up at our local, Palomino and were so impressed with their baked eggs we decided to have a crack (sigh yes pun intended) at our own googie gourmet.

We whipped up a lovely dish of poached eggs with chive butter on a thick and grainy Phillipa's loaf, and it was delicious, if we do say so ourselves, of course it tasted so much better because of the 1950's lobster barbeque table cloth.

we also promised to talk up some CRAFT FINDS OF THE WEEK...

Here are a few of the treats bestowed upon us by Miss Pen Pen, which represent a very small sample of the buckets of buttons that rattled around Ramona's cherrymobile as we left Durstonia.

Thankfully we had had a big breakfast, it was quite a workout hauling the many heavy industrial sized bags up Beck's long staircase and by the end of it we barely managed to emtpy the booty out onto her loungeroom floor! After a wee break and some major sorting, we filled the table three times over with the knitted cast offs that also came to us via the uber generous first lady of textiles.

As you can imagine we were completely overcome with ideas for projects, so much so that when Beck found this superb length of stripey fabric she went into some kind of halucenogenic trance and her head fractured and multiplied like an Indian Deity, it might have just been the deadly combination of too much coffee and wool dust. We're still not sure.


tea time in durstonia
The grand dame of textile crafting, Lady Penelope Durston invited HML over for afternoon tea last Saturday. Ramona whipped up a super neato basket of chocolate chip vanilla cookies for the event and Beck, well, her parents are staying with her at the moment so she turned up on time. Pene hadn't just tempted us with tea however she also had hinted at free buttons and knitting scraps and you know we never say no to a freebie!

Pay attention to the details peeps. Can you see how good that teacosy is? The vintage embroidered tablecloth, the ginger fluff sponge, rasberry friands and yes....handmade crumpets!

As you can see Ramona has gone off in some honey induced reverie, either that or she is wondering how some one as talented, hardworking and prolific as Miss Pene still manages to whip up an afternoon tea, hold down great converstation and keep the hot tea flowing without even breaking a sweat.
An excellent afternoon was had by all, the spoils of which will be revealed in days to come.



beady little eyes
Spanish born/Scotland based artist Dani Malti blew the ladies of hml away with his new monumental work at Arc One Gallery in Flinders Lane (right next to Craft Victoria). The amount of patience and dedication it would take to create these works makes us believe he is a crafter at heart. They had such depth - some were random locks of beads, others were gridlike and rigorous in their patternmaking.
It occured to us that it's often the case with craft that you amass alot of one material and then you look at it for a long long time before beginning the making process. Perhaps you work out a 'production line' - thinking that you can make 50 of the one object leaning towards a sort of one person manufacturing factory. Maybe the difference between craft and art practice sometimes is that the en masse view of materials leads down different paths.
Also not to be missed (well not if you can avoid it - is it just us or does RMIT sometimes feel so far away?) is the new Jenny Watson show Material Evidence: Works on Fabric at Storey Hall. We know it runs til June 9 but that is closer than you think so get on the tram, we are certainly going to try. Watsons work is so beautiful and poetic - we will try and put all her professional jealousy aside and report back with a glowing review...



speed queens
As you may be aware, we ladies have got ourselves one mother load of old knitwear with the intention of getting all warm and fuzzy over winter. But of course after the initial excitment of our overexcited buying frenzy died down we realised we now had to felt up the buggers ready for making. Given the numbers we'd managed to collect we it also dawned upon us that it would probably take us the rest of winter to get them felted up by hand. Enter our beautiful laundrette.

We headed straight for the heavy duty double loaders and got busy throwing as many jumpers into the machines as would fit. Only to discover that we may have had a bag full of 20cent pieces but exactly zero of the required dollar coins. Yes folks it has been quite a while between public laundering excursions.

After a quick dash across the road to score both some lemon tarts and the correct change we managed to get them all washed up in the cheapest laundry powder we could find (see below for the hml tick of approval) . A remarkably quick and easy process, for once.

We then took a wee trip down memory lane with the excellently named and Brooklyn made dryer de jour...

...and then amused ourselves for the next hour watching the tumble dryer hypnotically swirling the knitwear like a hokey psychadelic light show. Not a bad mornings work really!

They've come up a treat, so now we're off 'deconstructing' them, hopefully we'll have come up with something worth posting by next week.



Those lucky souls in Sydney who are able to make it to the very beautiful (and well monikered) allhandmade gallery can catch sight of The Jug Show until May 22. We at hml headquarters will have to be content with our own collections. Particularly loved is the blue corningware polka dot number Beck gave Ramona for xmas ('I never saw a jug that was so you!' she said - I get the blues and I have freckles so I guess she was right there!)
And the Hermie Cornelisse makes the best gravy boat ever. Do gravy boats count as jugs?



spray it don't say it

This week the Melbourne Stencil Festival kicks off in their brand new venue J-Studios Artist Community in 100 Barkly St, North Fitzroy. The ladies of hml who are huge illo and stencil fans are most excited about the exhibition component 'Drawing Fancy' which promises to showcase artists that have names like 8-Bit, Mute 81 and Zombie Trash. What would our tags be I wonder? hml collective? craft-ho? We'll work on it and let you know. It was this time last year we had a crack at some stencil art ourselves, dodgy as ever but with the best of intentions!



In our deep dark past several members of the hml staff were involved with what is commonly known as 'hack' journalism. This sharpened our pencils, our wits and our complete devotion to great typography. And while we plot and scheme our own use of Bookman or Baskerville we are content for now to play with this rather fantastic font designed by esteemed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. This stamp set came all the way from NYC - the MOMA gift store to be exact. Lovely isnt it?