hot rocks
The ladies of HML can often appear to be an industrious pair, trotting off to shows, making things, cooking things, and having lavish country picnics on the weekend. This is only partly true - alot of this week has been spent keeping babies cool and watching the Australian Open...
Ramona's mum on the other hand decided this week - the hottest in 100 years - was a great opportunity to mosaic stepping stones for the front garden. So to avoid the heat of the day Maggie has been spotted with her morning cup of tea in the back yard mixing grout at around 6am. We challenge anyone to keep up!



get thee to the ngv
OK so here's cool tip number three... get into the NGV people! Often overlooked during the heatwave it's an excellent locale for more calmly keeping yourself from melting. All of the space of the local shopping mall but instead of screaming children, overwrought desperate parents and crappy discount stores full of things you don't need you get air-conditioned comfort and top drawer culture all in one well designed package... and that just has to be better doesn't it?

The NGV international has a great show on at the moment by one the today's leading photographers, Andreas Gursky. He also happens to be Beck's favourite photographer. Gursky utilises the visual elements of scale, pin sharp detail, brilliant colour and the systematic repetition of the built environment to create illuminating commentaries on contemporary consumer society. Beautifully crafted images, especially inspirational for any textile designers out there and well worth the price of admission.

Also on offer is Remaking Fashion, which delves into the archives to reveal the NGV’s rare and extensive collection of Pierre Cardin toiles from the 1950's (Mad Men fans you won't want to miss these) as well as showcasing more contemporary 'in progress' pieces by designers including Rei Kawakubo, Martin Margiela, Helmut Lang, Yohji Yamamoto, Alber Elbaz for Lanvin, Nicholas Ghesquiére and John Galliano. We love this excavating of fashion's bones and it will be excellent to get a sneak peak into the crafting of some major couture from the cardboard up. If that's not enough to wet your whistle there are the smaller showcases as well as the permanent collection to gape at... of course last but by no means least there's always the water-wall.
happy gawking people.



we're havin a heatwave...
The senior intern, recovering from the big day out, has retired to her air conditioned bedroom (cranked up to freezing) with a handful of film recommendations from the ladies of HML.
Once upon a time we'd send kids to the pool on a day like this but now it's a portable DVD player and a darkened room to try and survive the heat.

Top Five films to cool you down
5. The Day After Tomorrow (you think our weather is bad...)
4. The Shipping News (steely drizzle, a great house)
3. Fargo - (blood looks so red in the snow!)
2. Smillas Feeling for Snow (another Gabriel Byrne Guilty Pleasure)
1. Anything by Woody Allen who only shoots in Autumn
Stay Cool Couch Potatoes



old spice

Let's face it people, despite anything else that is going on this week (and let's face it there's plenty) ultimately this week is all about staying sane and staying cool. So each day we'll be bringing you some tried and true methods of keeping the evil heatwave at bay.

Today's is all about combative dining and we'd like to remind you that aside from the obvious fridge frosty watermelon, sunnyboys and icypoles the peoples of south east asia have been using hot curries for hundreds of years to help them stay cool as a cucumber raita. The theory being hot foods increase your body temperature therefore making you feel cooler by diminishing the difference between you and the surrounding air. They also bring the heat in your body to the surface where it can be more effectively cooled by - well we could say 'glowing' but let's call a spade a spade -sweating.

Thankfully the long weekend saw the architect in full flight building cupboards, putting up a picture rail, even busting out a breakfast bar, but most important to todays message he got this old school spice rack (thanks ikea) up on the wall. With all her booty now at the ready, resident mistress of spices Beck suggested that a little garam masala might just be what we the good doctor ordered. Apart from being a dodgy bollywood remake (see below) it's as easy as heating a frypan, can be used to give any food a touch of the subcontinent, stores like a dream and makes a super quick present for people who may be little 'flavour challenged' in the cooking department.

4 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cummin seeds
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 teaspoons cardomom seeds
(measure once roasted and removed from pods)
1 teaspoon kalonji (nigella) seeds
4 x 7.5cm (3inch) cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 whole nutmeg

Roast each spice, except nutmeg, separately in a small heavy based pan over a gentle heat. Turn each batch onto a plate to cool as soon as it smells fragrant. Remove seeds from roasted cardomom pods and discard pods. Grind roasted spices in an electric blender, coffee grinder, or good old fashioned mortar and pestle (especially if you want to work those tuck shop arms). Finely grate nutmeg and mix in with the rest of the spices. Fresh is best but this mix will last a good three months if stored properly. Store in an airtight container and proudly display in your own spice rack.



rock on!

Whatever you are all doing today - celebrating Chinese New Year, having a major BBQ, or spending the day at Flemington waiting for Neil Young (!!) HML wishes you a good one...



the sweet stuff

As you know the ladies of Hml love a sweetie and cupcakes provide a little bit of portion control - which to be honest with you we could all use at the moment. Unfortunately Ramona has now memorised the recipe for these lemony numbers and her mum keeps making this amazing curd. So within 20 minutes (or as long as it takes Beck and Max to walk down the hill) a dozen of the beauties are ready. 1 cup sugar, 1 cup self raising flour, 2 eggs, 40 ml milk, 125 gms melted butter, zest of a lemon - mix it all together and presto! It's three per serve right?


Show of the week

the unwearable lightness of Lisa...
or just how clumsy can we make today's puns
This will be big people. A fifteen year retrospective of New Zealand jeweller Lisa Walker's works in a show bravely entitled "Unwearable" promises to provide as many wry knowing smiles and head nods as gob smacking, good-humoured eye candy, and tomorrow nights opening is bound to bring out the big guns in Melbourne's contemporary jewellery scene.

Walker is a bit of a fave 'round here: we like the mixed use of techniques and materials outside of the ordinary. Embroidered sheep, gold dusted plastic pigs, pearl embellished matchbox cars, enamelled woollen necklaces sitting side by side in tiny 'found object' sculptures as much romantic keepsakes of the here and now as miniature portrait brooches were to the 18th Century. Deliberately producing works as 'difficult' to categorise as they are to wear, Walker confounds traditional notions of decoration and taste, while effortlessly referencing the material and cultural concerns of both. Top stuff.

one not too miss - we'll see you there, weather, widgets and public transport permitting.
Lisa Walker Unwearable
Curated by Damian Skinner
January 23 until March 7 , Galleries 1 + 2
Opening night Thursday Januray 22, 6-8pm.
Artist talks 5:30pm


Road Trip Redux

tree change

So we headed for the hills and the Yarra Valley wine scene on Sunday. While the farmers market was more like a staging of middle-aged tree changers showcasing the overpackaged bounty from their new careers, there were some delicious bits and pieces aquired for both home and picnic. Ramona was dead chuffed with her pistachio and pork terrine, while Beck went ga-ga for the beetroot and orange relish. We'd been told there was no-where to picnic at Yerring Station, but don't be fooled people there's a whole shaded mop-top tree section that was actually COLD despite the blistering heat! Still there were oceans of milling daytrippers and no trees and we couldn't be bothered waiting for a tree like waiting for a table at Palomino during lunch hour SO... we headed for the local Yarra Glen municipal reserve, pulled up a galah filled tree and had a most excellent day of feasting.

Pene again outdid herself providing us with delectable deserts while we managed a veritable charcouterie of cold cuts and stinky cheese. And of course, amongst the artichoke salad, sourdough and ciabatta breads, pastrami, salami, bries and gouda, Queen Victoria slice (with meringue topping) chocolate ganache, raspberries, peaches, watermelon, nectarines (see we were being healthy) and Phillipa's oat and pear slice, there were many lashings of ginger beer. The day however really belonged to the boys.

Thom wolfed his way through the picnic fare, finally exclaiming " oh god if I eat another piece of brie i'm going to explode..."

While Max, ever the attention seeker tried to outfly the parrot poop while exclaiming " look at me look at me look at me".



to market to market...
HML and Co are hitting the road this weekend to the Farmers Market at Yering Station in the Yarra Valley. It's a bit of a test run to see how the youngest interns manage such a major outing but being the absessive foodies we are we can't resist the call of jam, chutney, olive oil and most importantly cheese. We'll be a packing a picnic lunch but have been informed that there is no shade at the winery so we'll head into Yarra Glen down the road. The market could perhaps use this beautiful shade cloth suspended by helium balloons as seen at the recent Vencice Architecture Biennale - designed by Gustafson Porter.


Craft find and potential project of the week

dog gone it!
Regular readers would remember this excellent publication Ramona gave to Beck last year by Japanese sculptor, illustrator, supercrafter and mum Miyako Kanamori . It's full of really cool easy to make glove creatures that we both swooned over, promising to whip up an ark full by the time the little interns arrived. Of course we didn't actually get any of them done in time. Thankfully however, Beck's sister Simonne, even with two kids under two, actually did manage make one, and had it packed up and posted to arrive in time for Christmas - maybe it's because she lives in Japan and had the inside scoop on glove purchasing, or maybe she's just way more organised than us with two years worth of kid wrangling under her belt. Either way we were both pretty impressed with the results:

We have it on good authority that you can crank one out in a little over an hour, depending on how detailed you want to get with the facial embroidery. Want to have a crack at making one yourself? Get yourself some Martha video instructions right here, and happy stuffing.



it's oh so quiet...
January is always a funny time for exhibitions and for makers too. We are all so tired after Christmas production - whether it be getting stock to suppliers, working in shops right up to the bitter end or getting those handmade gifts finished for family and friends. By the time new year comes around we are all a bit washed out. In some ways the ladies of HML are grateful for January - it's an enforced slow down (well as slow as we can manage it with infants). When we do toddle in to town this week we are going to park the perambulators outside Gallery Funaki to see this beautful work by German jeweller Bettina Speckner which opens tomorrow. Ms Speckner will also be giving a talk on Wed night at 6pm at RMIT for those of you interested in leaving the cave for some new year inspiration...


Craftist of the week


As if we didn't feel bad enough that we're getting bugger all done at the moment, we were reminded this week of the genius of L.A. native Ms Megan Whitmarsh . Whitmarsh manages to fashion absolutely killer soft sculptures and brilliantly obtuse pop inspired embroidered drawings with alarming regularity, ridiculous technical prowess and apparently while dealing with not one but two widgets on her knees.
Bloody hell, just thinking about her output makes us feel like a bex and a good lie down, but anyone who can recreate everything from old school boom boxes to banana peels as skillfully as she does deserves a large round of applause and our undying envy at very least.

Recently asked to describe the world that inhabits her work she answered with the following list: "crystals, elves, triangles, lasers, moon boots, synthasizers, capes, breakdancing, yeti's, capes, monsters, rocks, parties, mountains, parallelograms, capes, jewellery, stars, king kong, rock n roll, trees, capes, fighting, unicorns, electric guitars, boys, furry suits and discoteque." And if that wasn't enough, just like us, she enjoys both geeky science fiction and the optimism of simple technologies like hand sewing. Sigh... a woman after our own hml hearts.

Given that Beck's list of favourite obsessions similarly includes Yeti's, bad dance moves (go the robot!) embroidery and moonboots it figures that she has quite the craftcrush on Megan at the moment... just don't tell the architect.


Freebie of the Week


the ladies of HML are list mad (well Ramona is particularly afflicted with listamania) and so our hearts were warmed by this weekly planner that you can print out and fold up like a little booklet for you pocket - genius. It comes courtesy of the very talented Etsy storeholder Julie Schneider (aka your secret admiral). There is an exellent little demo film on how to cut and fold this ingenius little pamphlet. Super cute.


Craft find of the week

I was a little teacup...

It would seem that everyone is making something out of teacups at the moment, amongst the lighting, mobiles, and of course Miss PenPen's beautiful soy candles (available now at Cottage Industry) we have now found the humble teacup has been transformed into jewellery via these great bangles by NZ object maker Lindsay Pemberton. Which begs the question, is anyone actually drinking out of teacups anymore?

Apparently these versions (and others) are available here now in Melbourne at leonard street in 178 High St Prahran -which of course seeing as we're rarely getting out these days we haven't been to yet, so if any of you manage a viewing of said store please do send us a report!


Happy New Year HML readers! We know alot of you are as busy as we are so we hope it's of great comfort for you to know that artist Rosalie Gascoine did not start exhibiting work until she was 57 years old. She then went on to be the first contemporary female artist to represent oz at the Venice Biennale in 1974. You'll also to be pleased to know the Gascoine restropective that is now at NGV:A at Fed Square is on til March. So if you get completely swamped in work/gardening/cooking/crafting/cricket watching or nappies like us this week you can plan to go next week (just don't leave it til you turn 57...)

ps Christmas redux - how good does the Sonic Youth onesie look on Thom? thanks Aunty Beck!