We're spinning around, move out of our way.

well as promised here is a selection of some of the highlights of the Melbourne Scarf Festival Launch and from the top we have:

early birds picking through the selection in the Scarf Market
the alchemy boys behind the virtual wheels of steel,
top banana at Craft Vic, Director Kevin Murray,
more color coded perfection by Curator Kate Rhodes,
and of course us, pulling our best "what another opening?" art scene faces

it was packed, it was noisy, and at one point gallery three was overrun by a band of amateur balladeers...
really it was quite a night.



who's house?
The event of the week surely is not the opening of the guggenheim exhibition (although secretly clearly it is) but in fact the opening of the SPIN: The 2007 Melbourne Scarf Festival... The ladies will be there mix(master)ing it up with the textile hoi poloi and checking out the talent. The party officially gets started at 6pm and apparently there's even going to be a dj this year spinning out the beats from behind the wheels of steel.

We have to admit we've had a sneak peak at the entries, and with our love of the old school our we could'nt go past this truly awesome knitted oversize bling by Shio Otani. So fly that even Run could have been seen sportin' it in back in the day.

Melbourne Scarf Festival 28 June - 07 July at Craft Victoria,

31 Flinders Lane Melbourne 10-5.30pm Tuesday to Saturday.



get it india

The staff meal of the week award goes to Ramona. Her vegetable curry ("the only vegetarian dish I can make" she says) warmed our cockles and other bits besides on what was a ridiculously wintery day. It was so good we didn't even leave any for Ganesh, our plaster dining companion, who as the deity of poets and theives, remover of obstacles and lord of beginings seemed a particularly appropriate staff meeting observer.

Even if one of us is Catholic.



The Democratic Potter
Long time fans of Sydney based artist Noel Mckenna have come to love his quirky and sometimes vaguely sinister drawings (his series of 'Lost' animal posters was amazing). We have been served up a rare treat with his ceramics exhibition now on at Niagara Galleries in Richmond. Be warned this isn't a show for purists, or even for potters (some pots aren't thrown by McKenna, some are badly thrown by Mckenna, and some things just seem like he's been noodling around in the potting shed).
The ladies of hml were utterly charmed by the show and if we'd had a spare $800 smackers would have fought over this lost cat bowl (sigh).
So if you are zooming down Punt Road this week (or crawling depending on the peak hour traffic blues) why not take a driver reviver - any gallery that paints 'Art Does Matter' on the side of the building is well worth a pitstop in our books.
For our interstate friends almost the entire show can be viewed online here



couch potato Important things I have learned while being laid up on the couch:
Daytime television is nowhere near as good as you think it's going to be when you are at the office.
Crutches take a long time to organise when you need to visit the ladies.
There is a limit to the cups of tea you should drink a day (see above).
There is no limit to the amount of good chocolate you can consume while recouperating.
The same can be said of fresh cherries.
Lap top computers are actually very convenient.
Nice people make you lunch when you're poorly.
Finally getting the time to make presents for the people you love is enourmously rewarding.
Everything is better when you're under an afghan.

So here are the presents i've made from the couch: two hot water bottle covers for two cold footed friends and a bunny bag for my accessory mad neice. I hope they like them.



unfinished business
There has been much discussion in the log cabin this week about craft for pleasure, craft for business, high craft, low craft, hobby craft, renegade craft and generally how craft makes us happy and frustrated all at the same time. Beck's birthday haul got us thinking about all the unfinished projects that have been shoved away in the vain hope that one day we can get back to just sitting on the couch on a Sunday afternoon and NOT FREAK OUT about not generating enough income from our work...
Now no one can say that I am a great needlepointer. I certainly couldn't land a gig at the tapestry workshop but I can honestly say that almost no other 'hobby' apart from cooking and knitting has made me happier.

So in an attempt to find our happy place again the ladies of hml are engaging in a not for profit crafting this week. These may not get finished until next year but they will eventually find their way to friends and family and the only label they will have on them is a card saying 'I made this for you' xxx



crewel crewel world

Well hml had a birthday over the weekend, and given that the birthday girl is laid up with a bung knee after a winter kerbside slippage these presents couldn't have arrived at a better time. Regular readers will have noted the needlepoint header we've adopted as part of our 'makeover' and will also know that the birthday girl is an avid collector of other peoples stitchery. Now however she has the guidebooks to create her own.

We poured over these two excellent books yesterday at our staff meeting, enthusiastically picking out new things to make for our homes and our friends and yes, even ourselves.
These homespun vintage styles warmed our cockles,

And as we're always on the hunt for new 'signature' looks, Beck picked out the above smocking detail for her winter wardrobe, while Ramona has decided that 2007 is all about velvet puckered sleeves.

and we've both gone ga-ga over this free form owl embroidery...

We must admit we have had a bit of an epiphany over the last few days, (thanks miss penpen for the reminder) and decided its high time we got back to making for fun rather than profit. Its easy to get caught up in banging out product and forget how nice it is to have a wee project to do in front of the telly on a cold winters evening without having to think about pricing, packaging and branding the bloody thing. So heres to busy work, just for the hell of it.



Sometimes at the hml headquarters our breath is quite literally taken away. Such was our response to the invitation to the Samantha Everton show on at Dickerson gallery in Richmond until July 1. Without the lurid overtones of Bill Henson, more like the cinema inspired work of Lily Hibberd We were thoroughly seduced by these beautiful and disturbing images. The show is called Childhood Fears and we can all recall all to readily just how scared of the dark we can be...



factory girl
BECK: Yars ago some very generous friends initiated me into the secret world of Sarojini market in downtown New Delhi, a magical land where you could pick up cast offs from the worlds top designers for about 100 rupees. Needless to say I went crazy and bought a lot of stuff I never wore there, and shipped it back to Australia at great expense where I continued to not wear it. Most of the collection has either ended up at garage sales or op shops and much of it has probably now turned up again in India as rags, however I have never been able to let go of my greatest find - a Betsey Johnson patchwork skirt that looks like it has just walked off a catwalk in 1984. It always makes me feel like I'm an extra in a school dance scene in Pretty in Pink.
For those who dont know BETSEY JOHNSON is one hell of a kooky old school American designer known for her celebration of the exuberant, the embellished, and the over the top. according to her bio "Betsey has been rocking the fashion industry with her unique and original designs since the 1960’s." Edie Sedgwick was her house model, while the Velvet Underground’s John Cale took to wearing her designs both on-stage and off. Good enough for me, even if she needs to lose the hair extensions shes sporting at the moment, not such a good look.



turn to the left... The ladies of hml can be quite caustic when it comes to 'wearable art'. It seems a dubious way for weird assymetrical badly shiboried nonsense to get some street cred - we are not convinced. But we are however frock hounds when it comes to avant-garde fashion particularly from one of our favorite decades - yes you guessed it - the glorious 80's. So we are understandably excited about the opening of the Katie Pye retrospective Clothes for Modern Lovers' at the NGV:A. And of course this kicks of a week long ode to the 80's courtesy of your very own rock steady crew here at hml.
Katie Pye circa 1982 doing her best Toyah Wilcox.



green green grass of home...
You all know we love people who take an idea and run with it - even if it means taking it waaaaaay beyond what is neccessary. So with the idea of the tree hugger grass armchair locked into our newly greened brains we did a little research and found this gem on the ever fantabulous Readymade website. Oh yes people it's the one and only Lawn Lounge. Follow the instructions and you too can have a whole new set of garden furniture come springtime. Garden party anyone?



one lump or two?Its no secret that the ladies of hml love their coffee, and one of the things we've always coveted has been the traditional "we are happy to serve you" New York coffee cup. Beck tried to smuggle one home many moons ago on a trip to New York but the originals squashability really didn't make it the ideal international traveller. Ramona too has always coveted the cup, especially given her love of Woody Allen. That paper cup has become part of the New York landscape. Every year, more than 180 million of the paper coffee cups are used by Italian pizza joints, Indian diners and Jewish delis. It's no wonder someone turned the iconic Greek-themed cup from disposable to permanent, from paper to ceramic and good on them for doing so. Even better it has been manufactured from lead-free earthenware, and the 10-ounce cups are both microwave and dishwasher safe. Excellento! and we are incredibly happy to announce that finally you can get said greenie version right here in Australia, without schlepping all the way to Queens. In fact you don't even need to get out of the chair your sitting on right now. What's that... you need to get one, right now. You're jonesing for a new brew holder? Well just head to the home of the stripey thing REMO .

Go on you know you want to.



there's a bear in there...

BECK: Over the weekend while attending to sickly housebound husband to be (men really are hopeless when they're sick) I still managed to get some stuffed stuff made. It's not my best work. Let's hope Ramona had better luck with her making weekend and that her stuffed stuff didn't end up quite so, well, stuffed up...

RAMONA: These funny little guys are looking at a blue moon - an astronomical event that conicides with me getting any projects actually finished. Just give me the Martha Stewart show marathon and a quiet place to work and this is what i came up with...



it is easy being green...Peeps it's World Environment Day today so get on your bike, get into the garden and get on board! We here at hml love to reduce, re-use and re-cycle, especially when it comes to Craft. We believe that the thrifty reworking of old materials is not only good for the planet but good for the wallet. DIY is all about taking charge of production and consumption: think global - make local. We'd also like to state that being green doesn't neccessarily mean wearing socks with sandals and using patchouli oil for deodorant - not that there's anything wrong with that. Hip websites like Treehugger show us all how to live more sustainably without compromising our style. Featuring great designs like the grass armchair, gourd speaker boxes and recycled melamine bowls the site is full of the super cool and the super green. Cant get better than that.

world environment day



coo coo cool
We think the idea of pink pidgeons around the city is just swell. Playful, pretty and downright decorative. Artist Omega Goodwin is taking it to the city streets in a Melbourne City Council bid to sparkle up the grey gloom of winter. Read more here.



crazy afghan sherpa monkeys ATTACK!

We always suspected that Durtonia was a mountainous country with a national flag made from vintage teatowels but what we didnt know was that there was monkeys in them thar hills people, sock monkeys. Penelope Durston's Afghan Mountain is on show in the window at Craft Victoria in Flinders Lane all of this week and the next. We've got altitude sickness already.



we're spinning around, move out of our way This week was still about banging out 'product' for the upcoming Northern Exposure Market, the Warm and Fuzzy course and the Melbourne Scarf Festival. Beck had a crack (he he) at the brooch making during the week, as well as finshing off some of (last years) scarf festival entries. Ramona graciously accepted model duty for the photo shoot, which started well, but.quickly went downhill...

are we there yet?
thankfully a little playing around with the plush managed to lighten the mood

bums are funny.