Christmas in July...
Ok now the ladies of hml know that this seems insane but think about it people: one baby due any minute now, the other one due in early November, Christmas ranges to design, manufacture, promote and ship to stockists, a dwindling bank account due to child related expenses (you want how much for that pram/cot/bunny rug????), absolutely no spare time (with newborns we are more likely to be found in our pyjamas thanking foxtel for keeping our sanity intact than at the workbench) and then there's about 30 people (each) to get presents for - which even at a measly budget of $20 a gift...you do the math. So yes we have started making the christmas presents now..

Ramona has gone insane with leaf/potato/cork/apple printing. Above are a swish set of napkins for friends with a tres chic art deco house. Below is a set of pillow cases for a superstylin' couple who are overdue for a new housewarming present (J & A I hope you like them!)
As long as you have 100% natural fibres, sturdy leaves and fabric medium you can't go wrong...
It's not exactly Tricia Guild but they are made with love and Seasons Greetings! Only 147 days til Xmas peeps. Ya better make your lists and get busy.



blankety blanks

WOO HOO! It's finished, and many thanks to the lovely ladies that contributed and supported it's production... YAY US! Now if the bloody pram would just arrive sometime soon we'll be set.



Plain SailingIn honour of the beautiful weather on Friday (and the fact that the widget made it round the right way all by itself) we headed out to the Fairfield Boathouse for a celebratory Devonshire Tea... and you know how much we love a scone.
It might be a little pricey and yes of course it's also a bit of a tourist trap, but it reminded us that it's always excellent to spend some time outside being a tourist in your home town and that some of Melbourne's nicest bits are often located right on your doorstop. And really who is going to argue with hot scones fresh out of the oven, in the open air, amongst some beautiful scenery and only 15 minutes from home...
Especially when said hot-spot has also decided to fill the trees around the waters edge with hand made birdhouses? Not us, that's for sure.



rug rats
So the plan at the shower was to get some squares knitted for a bassinette/pram blanket - everyone was to knit a couple of blocks and then quickly crochet them together into said blanket JUST IN CASE the widget arrived early (it's is going in for some manual manouvering on Friday). Of course the food and conversation were so good we barely managed one square each...

(there's Ramona and Juliana concentrating exceptionally hard on their respective squares, while below you can see speed knitter miss penpen who whipped out three stripey squares in a manner of minutes and still had time to teach the novices how to cast off and pour out the hot chocolate... )

Thankfully in the end we managed enough pieces to make the blanket and then instead of going ahead with the crochet spent the rest of the afternoon gas-bagging and deliberating at length about the order in which they should go... finally coming up with this configuration - which should be a big hit with the widget!

Hopefully tomorrow there'll be enough time in between seeing the new Batman flick and packing a bag for the hospital JUST IN CASE, to get them all crocheted together and showcase the finished product here on hml before Friday... fingers crossed.



99 sage balloons (well almost)

Ramona is one of those amazing people that manages to pull together a party like no other, bringing in all manner of matching crockery, champagne flutes and floral arrangements to ensure the extremely pregnant guest of honour doesn't have to lift a finger or even leave home! She even managed to color co-ordinate the helium balloons with the party people gift bags of gingerbread cookies which she had hand baked that morning . AMAZING PEOPLE... SERIOUSLY AMAZING.
Then there was the delectable spread of party food... mushroom tartlets, cheese pastries, rice paper rolls, mini fritatta, scones with rhubarb jam and double cream, carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing, and brown sugar fairy cakes and baby brownies with chocolate ganache straight from the kitchen of miss penpen as well. Ramona also came up with the genius non-alcoholic 'Baby Bellini' which we drank by the jug full, and a hot chocolate which blew koko black right back to Belgium. Clearly we were ridiculously spoilt for choice, stuffed ourselves silly and ensured no-one got out of this particular event with their waistline intact. So big props and special thanks to the lovely Ramona for getting the whole thing (including the hand painted invites) organised, the flower arranging historian for his horticultural and food delivery services, and miss penpen for the cakes that have continued to make the men of the house delirious with happiness all week.



We let you all know about the design festival but we'll let you in on a little secret - we didn't actually go and see anything. Call it design fatigue, call it ferocious nesting or rampant laziness we just couldn't face the winter chill.
Instead we stayed in and threw a baby shower. This was Ramona's attempt at some scando stylin' leaf printing for Beck's Basinette present. As you can see it helps to have an enormous table and a back issue of Martha Stewart magazine circa 2001 for guidance - quite swish in the end. Photos in situ to come later in the week.



overly designed Just when you thought there couldn't be more happening, as promised here's the other side of the design coin, and yes there are another million events to make you feel like your missing out, but fear not intrepid reader - here's our quick fix to ensure you have something to talk up around the water cooler. If you need more, or don't like our selection, or just want to see what you might have seen you can always check out the full array of events at State of Design . We've picked some food, some fashion, some craft, some trade and even some countrified action for those that have had quite enough of the city for the week, thank you very much.

first cab off the rank is...
eat your greens

Now you all know how much we love food, so this one is a dead cert. for the hml ladies, and thefact that it's another thing miss penpen (that's her chair above) is involved in helps enormously as well. What is it we hear you ask and how can we get a seat at the table? Eat Green Design is a restaurant space with a difference, a temporary restaurant that serves as an incubator for sustainable thinking . It has been developed as a temporary, customised environment that explores ecological principles, environmental responsibility in design, and cradle-to-cradle thinking. Collaborate offers us a provocation on how current trends in food consumption (localisation, sustainable consumption, organic foods) can translate to the design industry. As a Festival ‘hot-spot’, Eat Green Design offers a temporary re-designed space for hospitality, and networking. Local design products deployed within the space will be available for sale throughout the week in a stimulating and design-conscious environment. Curated by Before & After the project aims to provide new perspectives on unwanted objects that have been donated to the Brotherhood of St Laurence, covering social, cultural and environmental issues. WHEN: Thursday 17 – Monday 21 July
WHERE: Level 2/39 Little Collins Street, Melbourne Lunch 12 - 2.30pm and Dinner 6.30 - 9pm Daily Open to public 9 -11am and 3.30 - 5.30pm Daily
Enquiries and bookings:

little india

Converging – a landscape of memory, travel, material and magic
The imagined worlds of artist Emma van Leest and clothing and accessory designer Geneine Honey merge in a new work ‘Converging’. A mythical kingdom, inspired by the desert palaces of Rajasthan, India will adorn the window of Little Salon in Little Collins Street in Melbourne’s CBD. another freebie shop installation from our favourite scissor sister.
WHEN: Monday 14 – Thursday 24 July24 hours
WHERE: Little SalonShop 1,
353 Little Collins StreetMelbourne

kicking goals

Anorther in store installation this time by three renowned Melbourne fashion labels, including fabulous footwear by Preston Zly, showcase works in their Gertrude Street shopfront and store interior. "A journey into the processes of the designers as they reveal some of the ideas, and inspirations that lead to the final products." had a sneak peak at this through the window of the tram, and while you're in Gertrude st. checking out Cottage Industry worth popping along to see. WHEN: Wednesday 16 – Thursday 24 July
WHERE: The Signet Bureau 165 Gertrude StFitzroy
Opening hours Tuesday-Friday 10am - 6pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 12 - 4pm

pleats please!

Envelop features by one of Asia's most exciting young designers, Grace Tan. Grace continues to blur the lines between fashion, fine art and architecture. Working from the simple rectangle, she has developed her earlier experiments to give us meticulously crafted large-scale fabric sculptures that sit equally well on the body, as on the wall. Another freebie this one presented by Kwadrant.
WHERE: RMIT Gallery344 Swanston StreetMelbourne VIC 3000
Floor talk: Friday 18 July - 3pm
WHEN: Friday 11 July - Saturday 23 August 2008
Monday - Friday, 11am -5pm
Saturday 2 -5pm, closed Sunday and Public Holidays

the out of towner
If you're feeling like heading for the hills this weekend then this might be just the ticket - especially if you take the long way round and make the trip via Woodend to pick up a half dozen the best vanilla slices in THE WORLD (let us know if you're going we'll pay in advance). The Bendigo Art Gallery has on show The Darnell Collection, one of the largest and most important collections of fashion in Australia. Comprising more than 4000 items from the Regency period to the 1980s. The collection was amassed by Doris Darnell, a Pennsylvanian Quaker, and was later gifted to her goddaughter living in Australia. This exhibition features a selection of Victoria era fashion showing the development of women’s clothing from crinolines to bustles towards the more liberated body shapes of the twentieth century. We've been meaning to get to this one for an age, but it looks likely we'll miss it- don't make the same mistake!!
WHEN: Exhibition:Saturday 17 May – Sunday 20 July
Opening times10am - 5pm
All welcome, bookings preferred, entry by donation
Bendigo Art Gallery
42 View St Bendigo VIC 3550

when is a market not a market... when it's a trade fair!

"Design:Made:Trade is a new trade event showcasing Australia's small manufacturers, product designers, and design makers. It is specifically created for designers seeking collaboration with manufacturers, retail and export buyers. Product Design, Graphic Design, Textiles, Lighting, Furniture, Fashion & Accessories, Hand Made Objects." Ok so that's the official pitch, it should actually be pretty interesting given the range of peeps with work on offer - Marc Pascal, Gregory Bonasera, Tim Fleming, Julie Patterson/Cloth, Ilias Fotopolous, Volker Haug and Buro North to name a few. We'll be heading in as 'registered guests' on Friday, but it's open to the public on Sunday for a fiver. Check out the full list of exhibitors online designmadetrade
WHEN: Sunday 20th July 10am-5pm
WHERE: Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton




Design is for everybody vs. Strength in Numbers or
This is literally one of the busiest weeks in the year, it's pretty insane really and there is clearly far too much stuff on (especially now we have competing design weeks at the same time here in Melbourne) so we're warning you right from the get go you WILL NOT be able to see everything. Don't worry though neither will anyone else in town! We've decided to give you a small section of craft/design fusion events (ha!) mostly free and in no particular order. Hopefully something on the list will tickle your fancy. Today we'll concentrate on what's on as part of the program from the National Design Centre and tomorrow we'll do the same thing for the State of Design festivus.

It's a stick up: The 4th Australian Poster Annual which asked designers to respond to the Festival Theme, Strength in Numbers, and the Festival Manifesto, on show at BMW Edge, Federation Square, 17-27 July, free and always worth a look.

Dont Sweat it: the Dont Sweat shop invites young people to re-evaluate, re-imagine and re-create the consumer experience by designing an item of clothing from recycled or sustainable materials. The free four-hour workshop will take participants through a process of deconstructing, reconstructing, screen-printing and finishing their own 'designer' item. Sounds cool to us and it's free. Date: 2pm - 6pm, Saturday 26 JulyVenue: ArtPlay, Birrarung Marr, Melbourne. Bookings are essential via the website http://www.dontsweatshop.com/

Circle Work: Circuit presented by Milly Sleeping - starring our own fabulous doily obsessed miss pen pen (thanks for the pic) this group of three shop front installations pitches Circuit as both an exhibition of wearable design considering the ongoing feat of creativity and a means for contributing designers to represent their own interpretations of circularity, symmetry and interdependence. Inspired by a Plato quote this one promises some excellento works. On between the 17th and 27th of July at Milly Sleeping, 157 Elgin Street, Carlton, Since Grey, 122 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy; and our particular fave, Cottage Industry, 67 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, and yup this is a freebie too.
Theres a chair in there:18 Chairs Escape celebrates the classic No.18 Thonet chair, globally recognised as the most successful cafe chair design. For this special event, 18 designers representing nine disciplines of design will be given a No.18 Thonet chair to make a new design piece using their design expertise. The event represents 18 chairs escaping the showroom and their traditional confining form and invites the designers to deconstruct, manipulate or use any part of the chair to create a new design piece. Participants include Grant Amon, David Hicks, Richard Daniell, Sacha Allen, Material By Product, Simon Murray, Round, Bonnie + Neil, Katzinka Tschierschky,Vivek Subramanian, Carl Breitkreuz, and Jasmina Krupic. Sounds tops, and considering how tired you'll be by the time you make it to this particular event an excellent venue for a quick sit down. Thursday 17 July – Sunday 27 Thonet, 237 Napier Street, Fitzroy and again it's FREE.
to market too market:
The Melbourne Design Market is back again and despite the freezing cold, bad coffee and tens of thousands of completely insane people (yes including us) elbowing you out of the way it remains one of the most highly-anticipated events on the Design Festival program, and a truly great place to pick up a designer bargain.
Sunday 20 July, 10am-5pm at the Federation Square undercover carpark. Entry is free, but everything else will cost you.

On Friday 25 July, Melbourne design studios lay out their welcome mats for everybody, you'll need to register but this is another excellent freebie, and a once a year chance for nosy parkers.
jewellery: As part of this series Studio Hacienda Jewellery & Object Design in Collingwood - a metal/glass/jewellery/design studio established by Phoebe Porter and Blanche Tilden, will be open for a peak behind the scenes. Phoebe and Blanche are two fantastic melbourne jewellers who share a similar design aesthetic and a passion for making. Register to visit by contacting Blanche Tilden at blanche@blanchetilden.com.au
fashion: Established in 2005, Von is the Icelandic translation for 'hope'.The Melbourne-based fashion label is fascinated by commercial patternmaking and manufacturing methods. Just think, it could be like your own private viewing of Project Runway - although there'll be no Tim Gunn to tell you to 'carry on'. To register your place email von1_1@hotmail.com
graphic design: tin&ed (Tin Nguyen and Edward Cutting) set up their studio in August 2004. Their work demonstrates a use of narrative that is sometimes earnest, sometimes whimsical and equally adaptable to illustrative and photographic styles - we think anyone willing to make a cardboard wolf head with paper teeth is worth a look in. Register to visit tin&ed on Studio Open day by emailing design@tinanded.com.au .
everything else: Of course as we said there are heaps more things on, including forums, workshops, awards and even a vertical garden project so check out the website for more details: National Design Centre.



sock it to me
There's a new shop in town (well Northcote anyways) called Tabiya which sells nothing but Japanese socks - hilarious but true! Not that we have anything against a specialty shop - we LOVE them, particulary if they feature one hundred and one tabi toed tidbits. Overcome with curiosity we stuck our heads in for a sneak peak just to see if it was worth coming back with the intern - she does so love her fruity over the knee socks - and couldn't resist purchasing these wee foot warmers ourselves, a bear pair for Thomas and a set of crazy penguins for the widget.



breakfast of champignons

At the moment its all about the breakfasts here at hml headquarters, we've been working the short stack buckwheat pancakes, eggs every which way but coddled, avocado and toasting it up a treat and consuming enough baked beans to be honorary members of the heinz family. But the winner all round has to be the mushroom. Our reccomended 'breakfast of the week' (although by the time we've managed to get it on the table it's more brunch than breakfast) consists of pan fried portobello's on hoummas smeared organic cornbread toast with a rocket side salad. Delicious.



sailing away in a pea green boat
To be honest we were both a little exhibitioned out after last week, but sitting in Palomino, enjoying our morning chai we kept getting distracted by a dress in the window of Kick Gallery, so much so that after eating our way through eggs, beans and avocado (not to mention a second chai) we headed over to see what was going on...imagine our delight upon discovering it was in fact a frock made entirely from doilies the influence of the magnolia project strikes again!

by the way please forgive the window reflections in the pics - we only had the amateur camera on hand. There were some other interesting pieces that caught our eye, but as they were still installing we felt we shouldn't intrude further, but would wait until opening night (Thursday 9th) to get a closer look at the collected works on show... We'd never heard of the pea green boat studio's , so needed to do a little investigating. Apparently The Pea Green Boat Artist Studios were founded in 2007 by artist Belinda Wiltshire, and are situated in large warehouse in Brunswick. Now home to more than 30 artists - painters, jewelers, designers, crafts-people, sculptors, photographers and mixed media this is their first exhibition as a collective outside of their studio.
FYI if anyone is looking for a studio space in Brunswick at the moment they have a couple available - contact them on thepeagreenboat@hotmail.com The exhibition opens 6-8pm Thursday July 10 and runs until July 9 - July 26 2008 @ Kick Gallery, 239 High Street Northcote.



well hung...

and finally it's done! Here's Ramona standing proudly amongst her artworks just after we finished getting them all up - let's just say it's a small room, and we two heavily pregnant women kept bumping into each other every five minutes, growing increasingly giggly and incompetant as the afternoon progressed. We did manage to stick to our guns however and get it all up in less than 2 hours -no mean feat considering the high klutz level that seems to come with being with child.



we are family...
Installation day today. Very weird to see a whole show packed into a wicker basket. It seems so unsubstantial! The ladies of HML are real wizzes at putting up a show - we go for the 'just wack 'em up there' random hang that leaves plenty of time for tea and scones - mind you today we'll be in prahran
which is one of those places we get to once every three years so it'll be fun to go exploring.
it doesnt matter how organised we try to be it is always a bit of a panic come installation week. Having both worked in galleries we know this is true for everyone but we can't help thinking that getting the work finished the month before would be nice (hope the paint dries before we get this stuff in the car...)



family ties

Beck and Ramona spent yesterday creating a catalogue for the show. Beck has the enviable skill of being able to know what should go where -ramona has the complimentary skill of being very relaxed about what goes where - making for a very easy working partnership! So the panic has subsided somewhat as all seems ready to roll. Mind you Ramona now has to print and bind the catalogues (todays task) so there is still room for freakouts to occur!

Ok so Imp Gallery above Greville St Bookstore in Prahran - 145 Greville St at 2pm - there will be cupcakes (well we're optimistic).