nerd alert!

We make no bones about the fact that we are both gigantic nerds. So we love it when we discover others who like letting their geek flag fly just as high. However this mario brothers vest is clearly in a stratosphere of its own. We love it.

We love even more that the Happy Seamstress (who is also an officionado and lover of all things nerdy) has used her own geeky guy as the model for her photo shoot. Today she has an excellent round up of other nerd related craft which includes such gems as the Captain Sideburns Space Invaders chopping board

and this Instructables VHS toaster. Oh yeah. You can download the Mario Bros. vest pattern here. Guess what the truck drivin' historian and low ridin' architect are getting for their birthdays.


Backyard of the week


Of course yesterday was orztraya/invasion/indian national day... so we made like thousands of other peeps nationwide and had ourselves a backyard barbeque. We'd planned on taking pics and writing recipies of all the good food stuffs on offer, but we were so busy in the morning preparing the feast, and so bloody hungry by the time the surf and turf combo was barbequed  we just tucked in. As Miss Penpen noted, sometimes the best evidence of a feast is a pile of empty plates... We will however give you a little taste of the menu -  from the barbie: butterflied lamb leg, scallops, prawns, haloumi and portabello mushrooms, on the side dish side we had bocconcini, tomato and basil salad, baby fennel and orange salad and roast peppers... YUM.

Of course if you have Miss P on the guest list you are guaranteed excellent cake as well as conversation and this gigantic plate of aussie as lamingtons were delicious.

And the architect was beside himself when he saw what Mym had brought to the collective table... as tasty as it was good looking. Of course no barbie afternoon is complete without some post luncheon activity. The masses got busy with an increasingly out of control game of Klop that included obstacles such as the lime tree and on site scoring inclusions of things like the 'wildcard pumpkin'. Here's the in-house DJ busting a move, being a teacher also meant he was pretty quick off the mark with the scoring as well - handy this many beers into the afternoon.

Shula on the other hand kept things crafty, putting her magic hands to work on this beautiful embroidery. Just gorgeous Shula, we can't wait to see this one finished.



crunchy granola

The Jolie-Pitt 'Shilo Project' may be kaputski, but The Shilo Project. on at the Ian Potter at the moment (which features it's very own cavalcade of superstars) is still going strong. It's been concieved and curated by Chris McAulliffe, so yes everyone is in it. And it started with a couple of dodgy vinyl pickups from an op shop, which, it would appear is where Chris has picked up most of his large record collection (you and me both brother!)  The two records that spawned this exhibition were both copies of Neil Diamonds Shilo - one pristine, one filled in with blue felt tipped pen. In what Oprah would refer to as a 'light bulb moment' Christ thought "why not ask artists to respond to the blank shilo sleeve." Genius. Really there couldn't be a show closer to my heart. It's even got me eating granola again. Go see it. Then go home and listen to Hot August Night.

And no don't bullshit me people, I know you've all got a copy somewhere.



the borrower

If you are anything like me you spend some quality time every now and then with Amazon.com developing dreamlists of craft books to be delivered to your door. I dont often have the funds to actually follow through with this but I have discovered that my local library sometimes gets these books in. These two were ones on my list. To be honest with you I wasn't too attracted to the large projects (a corset? a crown? good grief) but there was a couple of scarves that have really taken my fancy

Its that time of year where my thoughts turn to knitting. It takes me so long to finish I have to start things in summer. I already have a baby jumper on the go for a friends newborn but its on tiny needles and is driving me a bit nuts. My beloved has come to expect a scarf each birthday in May and this year it will either be the colourful stripey above...

or this collegiate style double knitting number. I may have to consult him before I embark on the project. I've also picked one to make for mothers day (also in May here)...

you cant quite tell from the picture but it's actually a knitted tube with a piece of silk organza through the centre of it. Maggie B often finds herself out in the chillier months (film fest, comedy fest, jazz fest etc) and this will be perfect for the Melbourne autumn. This colour is even perfect for her. Wish me luck and I'll let you know how the projects go!


SHOW OF THE WEEK part deux


Has anyone checked out Handheld Gallery here in Melbourne Town yet? We are heading there today to see the new show by Chloe Vallance. We've always been a sucker for art that incorporates those paint chips you get from the hardware store. If you are anything like us you have piles of them around the place just waiting to have something happen to them - and its never about picking feature wall colours.



Buying a friend ART is one of the nicest things to do. I was thrilled to receive this Xmas present from my lovely friend Miss J - who has the best taste of anyone we know.

Of course she knew I loved LA artist/genius Megan Whitmarsh. Mainly because Beck and I blab on about her all the time here on HML and we interviewed her for our book

to now be the proud owner of not one but two of her prints is such a great start to 2010. I'm taking it as a sign of big crafty things to come.

Do you feel like buying a friend some art? you can do so here. The rule is one for your friend and one for you. I'm off to the framers...



It would be too easy to call Adam Cruickshank's new work the ultimate Ikea hack. But it's obvious to us from the press release that he's thinking about all this mass consumerism and generic design on a much deeper level and so should we. Investigating the cargo cults of the pacific - where indigenous tribes would recreate modern technologies using ancient craft techniques, Adam has created something 'ancient' out of materials resolutely modern. Who could say no to a necklace created using those little Ikea pencils? Opens this Thursday at, you guessed it, Craft Victoria.



have you got a square to spare?

We love to fold paper here at hml, so when I got the hot tip from craft mag about the online origami club in my inbox today I sure 'nuff whooped it up.

Whether you want to whip up an ark of animals, a city of buildings or indeed a group of odd foodstuffs that includes everything from a soft serve ice cream to fried egg, this website has the goods. We especially liked this waste paper basket made from... (wait for it)...waste paper.

And as you can see, each design even comes conveniently graded for difficulty and with both diagramatic and animated instruction options. What better way to fill in some downtime in the office. Nimble up those fingers people and get folding.



hey ladies...

Look we're not going to pretend we've actually seen any exhibitions for the last couple of weeks, we've been too busy playing house and hangin' out... after all we're on our summer holidays people! That being said today is officially the day we go back to work. Sigh. Still it also means that we're starting to get it together again to make it out of the back-yard (or botanical gardens in Ramona's case) and into the galleries. Of course with the impetus on new years resolutions and their resultant make-overs we've been thinking about how to oufit the new decade ... and what better way to get to where we're going than to look at where we've been. So. This weeks shows are all about FASHION.

Over at the NGV international theres DRAPED, an exhibition drawn predominantly from the NGV collection, in which fashion, sculpture, painting, decorative arts and photography from antiquity to the present day explore the practice of draping cloth on the body in two modes - clinging drape and elevated drape. While the gallery defines 'Clinging drape' as being reliant on a direct interaction between the body and cloth, we see it as being reliant on super hot bods and buns of steel and therefore not on the current hml wardrobe menu. "Elevated drape"  however is defined as "showing drape theatrically animated away from the body as in the festooning of fabric over crinolines and bustles..." in other words a gloriously dramatic way for all women who have had children and/or who no longer have either hot bods or buns of steel to hide the not so fabulous bits while celebrating the rest. Just one reasonwhy we love the designers like Rei Kawakubo and her lbd outfit above.This exhibition also features works by some of our other personal faves here at hml - Vivienne Westwood, Gianni Versace, Christian Dior, Balenciaga and Hussein Chalayan. Tops.

Until 27 June 2010
Fashion & Textiles Gallery, Level 2

Closer to home and more recent in focus is the TOGETHER ALONE exhibition over at the other NGV
(Ian Potter) this exhibition mulls over the common ground shared by our trans tasman affair with New Zealand and expresses the antipodean aesthetic through a group of what we shall now refer to as "the usual suspects" Akira Isogawa, Toni Maticevski, MaterialByProduct, Romance Was Born, Doris de Pont, World, Nom*D and Zambesi. Sometimes familiarity breeds contempt so it's nice to see all this stuff together in a gallery setting to remind you that this stuff, made locally is actually pretty damn good - and for the most part, unlike the stable of stars in the Draped exhibition, still within reach. Well ok, maybe not for us any longer, but those of you not actually trying to make a living from craft or publicly funded little arts organisations or without small people eating through your personal expenditure budgets might still be able to afford it.

Until 18 April 2010

Fashion & Textiles Gallery 12, Level 2
Free entry


Happy New Year

under a blood red sky

This is always a weird time of year for anyone who makes things. The lead up to Christmas has usually been such a frenzy that we all collapse a little which we think is a really good thing. Here in Melbourne the weather has gone weird (storms, hot, then cold, more storms) and there has been some time for reflection. This all ends for many of us this week as we prepare to make new work for Valentines Day stock (big time for jewellers we're sure!)

In the meantime I've been baking crackers to go with the perfect hunk of Watsonia cheddar cheese.

They kind of look like Jatz crackers but taste a lot better. Especially with that pink sea salt. Baking is all the making we want to do at hml HQ, at least for now...