more sneak peeks...

We know,we know. We promised a daily sneak peak inside the book, and as yet have delivered nada, our only excuse is that we've been so busy trying to get the custom dust jackets done for a select few that we've literally had a fingers in thimbles all week. But... we couldn't let you down entirely, or let the week go by without another couple of tantalising tidbits. So here you are people. Enjoy.

Oh and don't forget, launch is tomorrow night at Craft Victoria between 6 and 8pm. Ramona will be giving a magnificent speech and I'll be nodding on the sidelines and chortling where appropriate (you all know how much I love public speaking). Snawklor (Dylan Matorell and Nathan Gray) are also playing on the night, which is convenient, because they're also in the book. Copies will be on sale on the night and thereafter at Craft Victoria, or for those of you interstate, out of town or indeed overseas, via the handmadelife big cartel shop (check the sidebar for a link). We're excited!



the countdown is on...
Ok so here is what happened. We had babies, bought houses, did trade fairs and got sick. But we wanted to do a hml project together that extended beyond the blog. Preferably something small, like a zine maybe. But then something happened...
We have made a 140 page full colour book containing interviews with 29 makers from around the world. Our wishlist of people we most wanted to ask things like 'What music do you listen to when you make stuff?' and ' do you miss your stuff when it's gone?' It's turned out to be one of the biggest projects we have ever undertaken and we are quite proud of it.
The launch is on Friday at Craft Victoria.
We thought that every day this week we'd give you a sneek peak...



the end of the world as we know it...

Ramona is all over the place at the moment. Hot on the heels of her last exciting adventure comes her place in possibly the best titled show of the festivus "The End of the world Souvenir Shop" at Headquarters gallery.

The concept funnily enough is just that, a shoppe full of souvenirs for the end of the world. Hence the cans of baked optimism above. Ramona made a selection of supremely elegant badge and card combo's simply stating 'the end', literally and colloquially speaking, in five different ways. But in all the madness of DMT we forgot to photograph them, so we don't have any pics to show you... You'll have to make do with these pics we've hijacked from their facebag page (apologies to Willoh S Weiland and Bryony Jackson) or head on down to headquarters to see them for yourself. Stax of people involved: Alexis Becket: Cecilia Dowling: Cristy Gilbert: Dan Cass: Davina Adamson: Doug Heslop: Dylan Martorell: Hugh Adamson: Jade Markam: Jessie Willow Tucker: Liz Rácz: Minos: Nathaniel Lindsay: opinion/ formed (Daniel Peterson & Anthony Nelson)Playground Mischief (Cat Sewell):Robbie Dixon: Simon Pericich: Sunday Morning (Lichen Kemp & Jitske Wiersma): Tee Jay Dee Designs (Tara Daniel): Wah-Wah Wears (Zoe Churchill): as well as our own Ramona of Words & Pictures fame.

Show's only on for another three days, so you'll have to be quick. After that we'll all be history.

The End of the World Souvenir Shop @ Headquarters
Rear 55 High Street, Northcote. (just behind Lupa)



the eagle has landed

We've been working on a (not so) secret boook project for a few months now, and we are both elated and relieved that the first batch have now arrived. Here. At HML HQ. We can finally hold these babies in our hot little hands. So excited!



making, whoopee!

Design Made Trade was filled with much awesomeness: great seating, drinking, playing, giving, wearing and eating options that had us sighing, laughing and furrowing our brows thoughtfully. The one stand out for us though was the make do stand. According to the box, make do is a "modular construction system designed to enable the creation of objects and spaces from found materials. It's aim is to inspire social change by encouraging people to see new value in the things around them." Cool. But to us it was a set of clippy things that would allow the making of just about anything from just about anything, then take it apart and make something else. And you know how much we like to make stuff out of other stuff. The stand had a range of great things made by great people (think Australia's top design names) created from all sorts of excess packaging from egg cartons the ubiquitous $2 stripey bag. Gigantic bunches of flowers, paper dresses, Styrofoam cup lights, planes, canoes and igloos... all held together with these ingenious little blue plastic rivety things.

The make do website is also full of cool tricks you can try at home. Can't wait to start playing.



card bored?OK we're warning you in advance, this weekend is clearly going to be a marathon... check out the festival guide, or get up to date highlights from the fabulous Lucy at Design Files , or in fact just check the local papers and radio for what's on details... everybody's talking about it, and not just because everything seems to be made of cardboard this year.

There's a bunch of great stuff to see, do, hear, watch, taste and listen to. Who knows, given the breadth of what's on offer there's probably even an olfactory design experience to stick your beak into. This weekend we're doing This is not a Design Market (for the local talent), DesignboomMart (for the hot and uber groovy international set), Design Made Trade (of course and you ALL know why) and Melbourne Open House (because we love a catacomb) and are already making plans for next week. Our advice on what you should see: something, anything, everything... just get out amongst it. Even the weather's going to be nice, just remember your packed lunch, black outfit and hippest high-tops.



got a light?
While we've been gobsmackedby the array of stuff on offer as part of this years State of Design Festival... we've found it more difficult to make up our minds about what to see and find enough spare time between tasks to actually get to anything this year. Ramona of course has an excuse, she's been staffing her stall at Design Made Trade, me on the other hand, i've got no excuses save a snot bound youngster determined to blow any chance I have of getting out amongst it. Thankfully we're not completely devoid of culture up here in Northcote and for the past few weeks we've been surprised and delighted on our way to the supermarket by some of the 'art' on offer in high street shop windows as part of High Views .
While we loved the Winternationale vintage turntable and vinyl display in I Dream a Highway, our top pick was these Belinda Suzette Doodad Dolls crafted from cigar boxes, matchboxes, wooden salad servers, woven baskets, tweed mustaches and other oddball ephemera. Apparently they were due to come out of the windows on July 6, but we still saw them smiling away in the window of uber-bohemian creperie Open Studio on the weekend so you might be lucky and still be able to catch them.
If not you could always just don a beret, listen to some live piano acordian and eat a crepe.



brown paper packages

Install complete, and just in time too... We were wondering where the hell everyone else was when we arrived in the morning, expecting a hive of activity and buzz of excitement we found the place virtually deserted... with empty cardboard cubicles anointed with lonely A4 numbered sheets of white paper clumsily stuck to the walls, we looked at each other and thought there'll be tears come opening time tonight. We on the other hand got straight into it, and bar a couple of sleep deprived nuff nuff moments got it all stuck, glued, hung and stuffed by our child imposed deadline of 4pm. (With a little help from the ever ready, willing and terribly able Miss PenPen who popped in at the eleventh hour with a brilliant DIY display solution... of course!).

As you can see IT'S BEAUTIFUL!!! Big congratulations to Baz on a truly excellent showcase of her fabulous wares, and big thank-yous to Pene for the furniture props. Tonight's the big night, and Ramona will be there spruced up and spruiking with the rest of the beautiful people... and tomorrow the rest of the work begins.

DESIGN MADE TRADE is on for the next four days: trade only Thursday and Friday, regular Joe's Saturday and Sunday. There's some really amazing stuff to see (apart from the words and pictures stand) so it's well worth a visit. Drop in, say Hi and bring coffee... it's going to be a long four days!!!



it's my party.

As you all know Ramona is the brains, brawn and nimble fingers behind mighty stationery label Words and Pictures. But she's hardly been stationary for the last few months, in fact she's been beavering away day and night getting things ready for her stand at Design Made Trade on all this week at the Exhibition Building. Everything is now in place and tomorrow we head on over to install the works in the cardboard walled cubicle. I'm over-excited and Ramona is dog-tired, so between the two of us we should balance each other out nicely... and get everything hung, boxed, wall mounted and visitor friendly by the end of the day. And then enjoy all the free champagne we can manage at the HUUUUUGE openingnight party the State of Design Festival is quickly becoming known for.



we're sorry...

We know we've been, well, a little tardy of late with our posts. And we're sorry, we've been really, really, REALLY busy, both of us. And we meant to post little snippets of what we were up, to. Really. But what with the house moving, trade fair organising, book writing and designing, little people caring, fevery sickness mending, interstate visitations, and the regular everyday business to attend to, well we were lucky to get a shower in, let alone log in and post something here. So we apologise, and just to show you we mean it we'll be posting daily, all week. Until you're all sick of us. We promise.



night lights We know it is a bit chilly to be wandering the streets at night but it is well worth catching the Gertrude St Association's annual projection festival. If you go here you can download a fabulous map that marks the 20 different sites that are illuminating the night with short films, animations, and projections all this week.
Ramona and the Intern walked through on opening night and had a great time despite hypothermia setting in. Nothing that a good mug of hot chocolate couldn't fix. Our fave (of course) was at Cottage Industry. 'Cull' is a cool animiated collab between artiste extraoridinaire Dell Stewart and our much loved friend Penelope. What did we love more - the lace doily covered stones? The woodland bloodfest? Or perhaps it was Jethro's commentary (can you see him in the top pic, bottom right hand corner?)