Christmas continues

The ladies of HML know you all well enough to guess that many of you have this $30 'benjamin' stool from Ikea... As Ramona continues on her quest to avoid doing work and just make presents from now until her newborns arrival in November a bit of Ikea Hacking was in order...
It's for Miss H who makes a lovely tea and cookie treat on Sundays (Miss H and Miss B are the ONLY people Ramona drops in on unannounced) but alas they have no coffee table and usually use a wobbly chair. Now they have a spare spot for teacups and friends. Inspiration and free stencils template from (take one guess)! Now Miss H won't mind so much when she hears that all too familiar knock on the door...


They Made it Themselves

Craft Project of a Lifetime

Dear Beloved HML readers,
we'd like to welcome into the world our newest staff member Master Maxwell Otis Larobina. Born at 1.14pm on Wednesday 20th 2008 at nearly 8 pounds. Both Beck and The Architect are doing well and their little family is due home today. Thanks to all who sent messages, cards, flowers, bears, quilts and good cheer. Phew. One down, one to go...



the magic mushroom

We love 'other peoples craft' here at hml, and regular readers would be aware that most of our craft finds of the week are the results of happening upon magnificent examples of both the weird and the wonderful output of the unknown crafter. While we have a big collection of ceramics, embroidery, needlepoint, shell art, knitting and crochet it wasnt until Saturday that we managed to find the most rare of OPC items - latch-hook. We don't know quite why they are so hard to find, but like the proverbial hens tooth they are... so when Beck saw this little number out came the wallet and home came the mushroom.

Ramona was a little disturbed when Beck pulled it out back at hml headquarters having had a particularly traumatising time with a latch-hook chicken as a child. Having toiled for many moons on her first latch hook project at the age of 12 she had planned on making it into a cushion for her bed (it went so well with the Holly Hobby sheets). Instead it got snafooed into the nursery of her newly born cousin. Ramona has never recovered.

Beck also found this excellento kids book while rummaging through the op-shop, a hml how-to for little people by none other than super illustrator Richard Scarry, including such fantastic projects as the lowly worm book and a hand-stitched felt Ms Mouse. We can't wait to get started on the projects.


what's he building in there?

We are big fans of furniture and lighting designer extrodinaire Erik North, BIG fans. So we've been waiting with baited breath for a chance to head off to see his latest exhibition "Making Plans". Currently on show at Twentybythirty gallery - it makes excellent use of the tiny space built into the front of the Pushka Espresso Bar, which of course is located in yet another of melbourne's uber cool laneways, Presgrave Place. North's brilliantly crafted railway brings to life the highly industrious architecture of a miniature wooden nether-world: 3D urban planning that is part Gullivers travels, part Fraggle Rock, part ant farm.
Exhibition @ twentybythirty, Pushka
20 Presgrave Place, Melbourne
7 – 30 August, 24 hours

Eriks' show is part of Craft Victoria's A Month About Making, an initiative focusing on the how's and why's of contemporary craft production complete with professional members exhibition, workshops, artists in residence and free artist talks... well worth a look.
image above Handmade by Tiffany Parbs, In the Making (a professional members exhibition) part of A Month About Making@ Craft Victoria



tiptoe through the tulips

Ramona found these amazing pics today of the annual Netherlands tulip plantations in flower, which understandably left us more than a little gobsmacked.

They also had us making quickfire connections to two of our favourite patchwork quilters - the lovely and local Miss PenPen and our international fave Denyse Schmidt, especially given that we've both been gifted goods by each in the last couple of days... the fabulous baby quilts featured yesterday straight outta Durstonia, and this essential crafting tome straight outta dymocks...

which begs the question - just how would these two approach a tulip field inspired quilt project and can we please be on the short list if they do ever get around to one?



A Royal Visit from Durstonia!
The lovely and talented Miss Pen Pen is famous for her generosity and keen eye for vintage textiles and the lucky ladies of HML were on the receiving end of both this week...
...The Queen of Craft quietly dropped round these two gorgeous quilts as baby gifts - one for Ramona's small person, the other for Rebecca's. If you know us at all you can easily guess which is which. For despite both being children of the 70's we emerged with different aesthetics from that era..
For Ramona it was all soft colours and quaint story books and playschool... For Beck it was all Sesame Street psychedelics, HR Puffenstuff and roller skate disco...
Sure there is alot of crossover but we think Miss Pen Pen showed enormous insight into our respective styles...
ANd we'd like to send her a HML hug of thanks xxx



Christmas part #3

Miss P is currently lost in the world of the Phd thesis and very rarely emerges from the academic haze she seems to have found herself in this past year or two. If Ramona can convince her to come to the Christmas party in December Miss P will snag this potato printed tote (fully lined mind you!) with matching notecards (you have to do something with left over paint!)

Yes the christmas insanity continues and no it show no signs of abating. And don't go thinking Ramona has many original ideas - this one came from (you guessed it) here...



custom cast-offs While Ramona has been working her fingers to the bone on this years Christmas Gift Range, Beck has been giving the Janome a serious workout customising freebie cast-offs for the widget. People have been delivering all manner of barely worn second-hand stuff by the truckload... (thank you all- you know who you are) and there have been some absolute gems amongst the cast offs (and yes Juliana that leopard print hat is tops!).

Sometimes however, the garment is great, but the manufacturers 'design' elements leave a LOT to be desired, but with a little creative license and a lot of fabric and felt scraps she's been able to whip up a range of original custom pieces for widgie. It's become somewhat of an obsession, so much so that she's nearly run out of things to embellish with robots, monsters and startled looking animals that seem to have invited themselves into the widgets 2008 spring wardrobe.
the results have been so encouraging she's now considering setting up shop with the new "cottage industry"... see what a week of furious house-bound nesting can do for you!



build 'em up...

dubbed 'the other art fair' the latest group show at Joint Hassles is quite a roll call of diverse and interesting artists. We love this space for two reasons - 1. we never know what we'll find in that little warehouse and 2. it's within walking distance
On a grander scale NGV(A) is finally giving us a retrospective we care about (art deco blah blah blah - have you seen the queues? insane). This week they open the doors on the Robert Klippel show. For those of you that don't know his work this post war Australian sculptor made the coolest assemblages we've ever seen - the ladies of hml have been fans for a long time. Included in the show is a musical response composed by his son Andrew. Worth the tram fare.



an apple a day...
Thought it would be nice to share another xmas project. After regailing Miss B with stories of obsessive laundry hamper shopping and manic christmas present making Ramona though her most deserving of the apple print laundry bag. Apples make great stamps, really marrimeko- ish and super fast.
The gift includes a 3m hook for the back of the bathroom door and a bottle of distilled water in a spray bottle scented with rose oil for fancy pants ironing. This was such an easy and fun project even for Ramona who has very dodgy sewing skills. 2 hours over 2 days. not bad...